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Lyles, Claye set meet records on five-win day for Team USATF at Paris DL


Noah Lyles and Will Claye broke meet records and five Team USATF athletes mounted the victory stand Saturday at the Paris Diamond League meet in Stade Charlety, the final regular-season stop on the Diamond League circuit before the two-meet final at Zurich and Brussels.

Lyles destroyed a quality field in the men’s 200 meters, zipping to a 19.65 to take down Usain Bolt’s meet record of 19.73, set in 2013. It equaled the 8th fastest time in American history and marked the sixth time Lyles has dipped under 19.70 in his career.

In a matchup of the top two triple jumpers in the world, Will Claye came out on top, beating Olympic and World champion Christian Taylor for the first time in a Diamond League meet since Oslo in 2014. Claye and Taylor both had their best efforts in round five when Taylor bounded 17.82m/58-5.75 before Claye surpassed that with an 18.06m/59-3. Claye’s mark equaled 5th on the all-time U.S. list and broke the 2002 meet record set by world record-holder Jonathan Edwards. Omar Craddock made it a Team USATF sweep with his third-place 17.28m/56-8.5.

A historic men’s shot put saw eight men throwing beyond 21 meters for the first time ever in a single competition. Joe Kovacs, the 2015 World champion and this year’s USATF silver medalist, hit 22.11m/72-6.5 in round three to finish second behind the 22.44m/73-7.5 by reigning world champ Tom Walsh of New Zealand. Five of Kovacs’ throws were beyond 70-feet.

Now the owner of eight of the top 10 U.S. women’s outdoor triple jump marks, Keturah Orji added one centimeter to the PR that placed her fourth at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, spanning 14.72m/48-3.5 to take third.

Winning her first Diamond League 800m, Hanna Green came from behind to outsprint Natoya Goule of Jamaica and Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo over the final 100m to cross the line in 1:58.39, .2 ahead of Goule. Kate Grace (1:59.33 in fifth) and Raevyn Rogers (1:59.50 in sixth) were also sub-2:00 performers.

USATF champion and NCAA runner-up Daniel Roberts dipped under 13.10 for the fourth time this season, winning the 110m hurdles in 13.08. Pan Am Games silver medalist Freddie Crittenden clipped a tenth off his lifetime best with a 13.17 in third, with NCAA champ Grant Holloway sixth in 13.25. 

In non-DL action, reigning world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks cleared 6.00m/19-8.25 to win, his third career vault at or above that magic barrier.

Other top performances by U.S. men included a 1:44.93 for fifth in the men’s 800m by Clayton Murphy, and a season-best 8:14.20 for seventh in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase by Stanley Kebenei. Andy Bayer was 12th in that steeplechase in 8:17.69. Jeron Robinson tied for fourth in the men’s high jump, clearing 2.26m/7-5, and Chris Nilsen was fifth in the men’s pole vault. TJ Holmes and David Kendziera went 5-6 in the men’s 400m hurdles, and Chris Benard triple jumped 16.62m/54-6.5 for 10th.

For the women, Sandi Morris cleared 4.75m/15-7 for third in the pole vault, three spots ahead of Katie Nageotte’s 4.65m/15-3. Teahna Daniels and Aleia Hobbs both ran 11.16 in the 100m, with Daniels fourth and Hobbs fifth. One-lap stars Kendall Ellis (51.21), Shakima Wimbley (51.50) and Phyllis Francis (51.56) went 2-3-4 in the 400m, and Valarie Allman ended up fifth in the discus with a best of 63.69m/208-11.


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