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Norman-Lyles clash highlight of five-win day for Team USATF at Rome


ROME, Italy -- Michael Norman handed Noah Lyles his first loss at 200m since 2016, storming off the turn to hold off the fast-closing Lyles in a world-leading 19.70 Thursday at Rome's Olympic Stadium. The marquee event of the fourth meet on the 2019 Diamond League circuit didn't disappoint a vocal crowd, as Lyles ran out of real estate to finish .02 behind, also with a season-best.


It was Norman's first win over Lyles, who last lost in the finals of the 2016 Olympic Trials when he was fourth and Norman was fifth.


Four other Americans came away victorious, with wins going to Donavan Brazier in the men's 800m, Rai Benjamin in the men's 400m hurdles, Dalilah Muhammad in the women's 400m hurdles, and Omar Craddock in the men's triple jump.


Brazier made a mad dash over the final 50m to catch Nijel Amos of Botswana, outleaning the 2012 Olympic silver medalist to win by .02 in a world-leading 1:43.63, just outside his personal best.


Without Qatar's world-leading Abderrahmane Samba in the race, Benjamin was never challenged and ran aggressively to record the second-fastest time of his career with a 47.58 to win by more than a second over David Kendziera, who clocked a season-best 48.99.


Picking up her third straight Diamond league victory of 2019, 2016 Olympic champion Muhammad pulled away over the final three barriers to cross the line in 53.67 ahead of Shamier Little's season-best 54.40. Kori Carter, the 2017 World Champion, was fourth with a '19 best 55.09.


After Portugal's Pedro Pablo Pichardo uncorked a 17.47m/57-3.75 on his opening effort in the triple jump, world leader Craddock responded in the next stanza with a 17.50m/57-5 that would hold on as the winning mark. Reigning USATF indoor and outdoor champion Donald Scott added six centimeters to his lifetime best in round two, spanning 17.43m/57-2.25 to take third, and Chris Benard ended up seventh.


Other top performances included a 21.71m/71-2.75 runner-up throw by Darrell Hill in the men's shot put, while Sandi Morris cleared 4.66m15-3.5 for second in the women's pole vault. A season best 6.76m/22-2.25 was good for third in the women's long jump by Brittney Reese, and Joe Kovacs also produced a '19 best in the men's shot with a 21.46m/70-5 for fourth.


American record holder Kara Winger continued to improve her U.S. lead in the women's javelin, spearing a season best 63.11m/207-0 to place fourth, and Katie Nageotte had an outdoor yearly best for fifth in the women's vault.


2011 world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson lowered her 1,500m season best to 4:01.18 to place fourth, three spots ahead of a 5+-second PR by Elinor Purrier, who clocked 4:02.34.


USATF 100m champion Aleia Hobbs took third in the women's 100m in 11.12, and Ben True scored a World Championships qualifying time in the men's 5,000m with his 13:09.81 in 11th. In the women's 400m, Jessica Beard (51.55) was fourth and Kendall Ellis (52.09) sixth. Courtney Okolo had an outdoor season best of 52.17 in eighth.


The final race of the evening saw Andy Bayer run 8:16.52 for a '19 best and a sixth-place finish in the men's 3,000m steeplechase.


Glen McMicken

USATF Statistician


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