Seven USATF Athletes claim Diamond League Crowns in Zurich
ZURICH — Diamonds are an athlete’s best friend, at least in Zurich as seven USATF athletes claimed their Diamond League meet tonight.
Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colorado) led from start to finish in the women’s 1,500 meters as the she forced her closest opposition to the outside on the final stretch before American rival Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, California) challenged her on the inside in their final strides. Simpson and Rowbury dove across the line for the exciting finish with Simpson crossing first in 3:59.92 and Rowbury the smallest fraction behind her in 3:69.93. With the win, Simpson earns the Diamond League Title. Brenda Martinez (Big Bear Lake, California), who finished seventh, set a season best of 4:01.36.
In the men’s 400m, LaShawn Merritt (Norfolk, Virginia) ran in comfortable contention for the first 300 meters before turning it on in the final 100 for the win and the Diamond League title in 44.36. American Gil Roberts (Lubbock, Texas) dashed out to an early lead but faded to second in the event and in the standings with his finish of 44.96.
Will Claye (San Diego, California) and Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Georgia) highlighted another exciting triple jump contest as they traded top marks, saving their bests for last. Taylor leaped 17.52m/57-5.75 for first place and the Diamond League trophy while Claye, who finished third in today’s competition with a jump of 17.39m/57-0.75, finished second overall in Diamond League standings. American athlete Chris Bernard finished in the top-10 with his jump of 15.74m/51-7.75.
Three U.S. women competed in the 100m hurdles with Dawn Harper-Nelson (Los Angeles, California) once again rising to the top for the title in 12.58. Queen Harrison (Clemson, S.C.) finished second in the standings despite not finishing after she hit the penultimate hurdle, and Brianna Rollins (Miami, Florida) finished in 12.73 for fourth place in the event and fourth overall in DL competition.
Tianna Bartoletta (Tampa, Florida) earned the women’s long jump crown with her first-place jump of 6.67m/21- 10.75.
Emma Coburn (Crested Butte, Colorado) went out with a strong pace in the 3,000m steeplechase, where she created sizeable gap in the early going. Coburn finished in 9:23.89 for fifth place and third in the rankings.
Michael Tinsley (Round Rock, Texas) finished second in the men’s 400m Hurdles. His time of 48.31 earned him eight points and the $40,000 in prize money awarded to the Diamond League winner.
In women’s 100m, Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California) was seventh in 11.37 while Curtis Mitchell (Clermont, Florida) was sixth the men’s 200m with a time of 20.26.
Galen Rupp (Portland, Oregon) in the men’s 5,000m, ran patiently and began picking athletes off with two laps remaining. Rupp finished third in 13:07.82.
In the men’s 100m, Mike Rodgers (Round Rock, Texas) ran 10:05 for second place and Tyson Gay (Clermont, Florida) was ninth in 10.35.
Bartoletta, Felix, Jeneba Tarmoh (San Jose, California) and English Gardner (Voorhees, New Jersey) finished third in the 4x100m relay.
Diamond League Winners
LaShawn Merritt, 400m
Jenny Simpson, 1,500m
Christian Taylor, Triple Jump
Reese Hoffa, Shot Put
Michael Tinsley, 400mH
Dawn Harper-Nelson, 100mH
Tianna Bartoletta, Long Jump