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Americans claim three Diamond League trophies in Zurich


In Zurich, Switzerland, the first of two Diamond League finals was contested in front of a sellout crowd at Letzigrund Stadium on Thursday evening. Americans Donavan Brazier, Sydney McLaughlin and Noah Lyles took home three of the 16 diamond trophies up for grabs.

A speedy opening lap in the men’s 800m saw Donovan Brazier in eighth place at 50.8, almost two seconds behind the leaders. That gap remained through 600m as world leader Nijel Amos of Botswana carried the field through in 1:14.5, with Brazier now sixth in 1:17. Making a strong move off the final turn, Brazier streaked down the home stretch with a 12.7 final 100m to run down Amos and win in 1:42.70, making him the #2 U.S. performer all-time, with the #3 all-time U.S. performance. Only Johnny Gray’s 1985 AR of 1:42.60 and a 1:42.65 in ‘88 are faster than Brazier. Clayton Murphy was fifth in a season-best 1:43.94.

In a rematch of the top four women from USATF nationals, world record holder Dalilah Muhammad faced Des Moines runner-up Sydney McLaughlin and Shamier Little, along with Ashley Spencer. McLaughlin and Muhammad were out quickly, just ahead of Little, and into the final 100m it was McLaughlin with a slight lead. She was fastest over the final two barriers and won in a season-best 52.85, with Little sneaking past Muhammad to take second in 53.86. Muhammad ended up third in 54.13 and Spencer was eighth in 56.90.

Touted as a world record matchup, the men’s 400m hurdles came close but was far from disappointing. Norway’s Karsten Warholm was lined up in lane 7, two lanes outside of Toyota USATF Outdoor champion Rai Benjamin, and pushed the pace down the backstretch. Benjamin had a brief stutter but recovered and moved to almost even with Warholm coming off the final bend. Those two were shoulder-to-shoulder on the run home and Warholm was just a bit faster, winning in 46.92, the second-fastest time in history, with Benjamin also sub-47 in 46.98. It was the first race in history with two men breaking 47 seconds and Benjamin jumped to equal third on the world all-time performers list. David Kendziera was fifth in 48.98, and TJ Holmes seventh in 50.00.

Reigning world champion Justin Gatlin clearly had the best start in the men’s 100m, leading through 70m before Noah Lyles powered past him on the way to a 9.98 win. Gatlin ended up fourth in 10.08, with Michael Rodgers eighth in 10.16.

A hiccup at 5.73m/18-9.5 left Sam Kendricks trailing Sweden’s Armand Duplantis in the men’s pole vault with one miss on his record versus a clean slate for Duplantis. Both men went over 5.83m/19-1.5 on the first ask, setting up the deciding height at 5.93m/19-5.5. All four men remaining in the competition at that height missed their first two attempts, and then Duplantis missed a third time to leave Kendricks with one chance to win. The reigning world champion sailed over on his final try to capture the Diamond League title. Kendricks chose not to continue vaulting after that height. Cole Walsh bettered his PR with a 5.83m/19-1.5 clearance to tie for third, and NCAA champ Chris Nilsen tied for fifth at 5.73m/18-9.5.

USATF champion Chase Ealey led the women’s shot put after a second-round season-best 19.68m/64-6.75, but China’s Gong Lijiao blasted a meet record 20.31m/66-7.75 in round six to take top honors. Ealey's 1cm PR kept her at #6 all-time U.S. performer.

Facing the world’s second-fastest woman in 2019 in the 400m, Shakima Wimbley raced to a runner-up finish in 51.21 behind Bahrain’s Salwa Eld Naser, who won in 50.24. Kendall Ellis placed seventh in 51.92, while Jessica Beard was eighth in 52.60.

American indoor record holder Keturah Orji had a best of 14.43m/47-4.25 to place fourth in the women’s triple jump, and Jeron Robinson was seventh in the men’s high jump, clearing 2.24m/7-4.25. Paul Chelimo (13:14.18) and Ben True (13:18.27) were eighth and ninth in the men’s 5,000m. In the 3000m steeplechase, world champion and 2019 Toyota USATF Outdoor champion Emma Coburn finished sixth in 9:10.01. Jenny Simpson clocked 4:03.50 for an eighth place finish in the 1500m. In a non-Diamond League event, Kate Grace took second in the women’s 800m in 2:00.66.

On Wednesday, Katie Nageotte and Sandi Morris participated in an indoor pole vault showcase in Zurich’s train station. Nageotte finished second clearing 4.82m/15-9.75 and Morris placed fourth with a clearance at 4.72m/15-5.75.


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