EUGENE, Oregon, (Reuters) – Keni Harrison equalled the second-fastest 100 metres hurdles ever run and fellow American Justin Gatlin breezed to a sparkling but wind-assisted 100 metres victory at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting yesterday.
The shocking Harrison, who has never made a global podium, stormed to victory in a U.S. record 12.24 seconds. Only retired Bulgarian Yordanka Donkova has run faster, clocking a world record 12.21 seconds in 1988 and later running 12.24.
“She stole my thunder and rightfully so,” said world silver medallist Gatlin, who won the 100 in a wind-assisted 9.88 seconds to defeat Jamaican former world record holder Asafa Powell (9.94) and former world champion Tyson Gay (9.98). The wind was an over-the-allowable 2.6 metres per second.
The 23-year-old Harrison took 0.12 seconds off her personal best with the sterling run, the fastest in the world in 28 years. The wind was an allowable 0.7 metres per second.
“I am still in shock right now,” said Harrison. “That was just amazing.”
While Harrison and Gatlin looked ready for August’s Olympics, two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showed there is work to be done.
The Jamaican, hampered by a toe injury, finished dead last in a 100 metres won by local favourite English Gardner in 10.81 seconds.
“I did not have any expectations,” said Fraser-Pryce, who ran 11.18 seconds. “I’ll just have to go back and assess the race. I prefer not to comment on the toe.”
Rio 200m favourite Dafne Schippers also was upset. American Tori Bowie edged the Dutch woman to win in the fastest time of this year, 21.99 seconds. Schippers clocked 22.11.
“My main focus was attack the bend, don’t give them anything,” said Bowie, who also has the year’s fastest 100 metres.
There was no doubt about Jamaican hurdler Omar McLeod’s fitness.
The world indoor champion remained undefeated outdoors, clocking 13.06 seconds in the 110m hurdles to defeat former outdoor world champion David Oliver (13.38). World record holder Aries Merritt was fourth in 13.51.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster going into the Olympics,” said McLeod, who said he would not run again before next month’s Jamaican Olympic trials.
Five other 2016-leading marks were set on the sun-splashed afternoon at the site of July’s U.S. Olympic trials.
American triple jumper Christian Taylor showed he was ready to defend his Olympic title, bounding 17.76 metres, and Kenyan three-time world champion Asbel Kiprop won the mile in 3:51.54.
Ethiopian Muktar Edris posted the year’s best 5,000 metres, 12:59.43, and Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet ran the second fastest women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase of all-time (8:59.97) as she narrowly defeated Kenyan world champion Hyvin Kiyeng (9:00.01).
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon added the year’s top women’s 1,500m, a national record 3:56.41, and Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman claimed the javelin with a surprising throw of 87.37 metres.
French pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie also was a winner, defeating Canadian world champion Shawn Barber, winning on fewer misses, as both cleared 5.81 metres.