Jamaican produces sizzling 10.54 for 100m as Athing Mu and Faith Kipyegon also shine as we bring you news of the women’s events from the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon on Saturday

The quality of the women’s 100m field on paper looked better than the Olympic final although it saw pretty much the same result – just faster – as it highlighted the women’s action at Saturday’s Diamond League in Oregon.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, who is already the fastest woman alive, improved her Jamaican record and world lead of 10.61 in Tokyo with a 10.54 that featured a remarkable second half.

It was also a Diamond League record and many regard it even clearer as the real world record given the doubts over the wind readings on Florence Griffith Joyner’s 10.49 in 1988.

According to splits given after the race, Thompson-Herah was fourth at 20m in 3.1, second at 40m in 5.1 but narrowly ahead at 60m in 6.9 but a metre up at 80m in 8.7 and two metres clear at the finish.

She said: “To come back with a PB after the championships, that is amazing. I haven’t run that fast in five years. It means a lot to me… because my job is to inspire a generation.

“I have more races, so I don’t get too excited, too carried away. I have to continue doing the job.”

Just as in Japan, world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce followed her home at a distance after heading her fellow Jamaican at halfway but still ran a fast 10.73 to match her Tokyo semi-final time. She ran 10.74 in the final in Japan!

Shericka Jackson was third again in a PB-equalling 10.76 (to match her Tokyo final time) with Teahna Daniels setting a PB 10.83 in fourth.

Many eyes were on US Trials first past the post Sha’Carri Richardson after her cannabis disqualification but she was ninth and last all the way and finished in 11.14.

As ever Richardson didn’t go quietly either. “Coming out today, it was a great return back to the sport,” she said. “I wanted to be able to come and perform after having a month off and dealing with all I was dealing with.

“I’m not upset with myself at all. This is one race. I’m not done. You know what I am capable of. Count me out if you want to. Talk all the s**t you want, because I am here to stay. I am not done. I am the sixth fastest woman in this game, ever. And nobody can ever take that from me. Congratulations to the winners, but they are not done seeing me yet. Period.”

She was supposed to line up for the 200m but withdrew from the race. Mujinga Kambundji, seventh in the 100m in 10.96, won the longer sprint with a strong run from lane three and ran her fastest time of 22.06 but was denied a Swiss record by the 2.4m/sec following wind.

World champion Dina Asher-Smith ran a strong bend and in her first 200m for 10 weeks, she held on well enough but was passed near the line by US Trials winner at 21.61 Gabby Thomas, who here ran 22.10 with Asher-Smith third in a promising 22.18 after a hamstring injury which affected her Tokyo preparations.

The most be-medalled Olympic women’s athlete Allyson Felix was eighth in 22.59.

In the 800m, for some reason the pacemaker was requested to go through in 54 seconds and Kaylin Whitney duly obliged with a 54.19 with Olympic champion Athing Mu just over 55 seconds with only Jemma Reekie within five metres.

Mu powered on and on hitting 600m in 84.44 was not far off world record pace.

Athing Mu (Diamond League)

Her usual beautiful flowing stride not surprisingly began to shorten as she was running an unprecedented pace for her and though her last 200m was a painful 30.60, her 1:55.04 improved her US record and world lead to go eighth all-time.

She said: “I knew this was probably going to be a little tougher because coming off the Olympics and running a PB there. So I wasn’t looking at time, I just wanted to come here and run with whoever is out there and just be competitive. I am very satisfied with a 1:55.

“The Hayward magic they call it. I think this was the greatest field of people ever, so just to experience it was really nice.”

Kate Grace was a distant second in 1:57.60 with Jamaican Natoye Goule third in 1:57.71.

Tokyo silver medallist Keely Hodginson ran a reserved race and tried to move up on the second lap but, running wide for most of the lap, she didn’t quite manage her best finishing speed and was fifth in 1:58.30.

Reekie paid for her fast opening lap and faded to eighth in 2:00.23.

Reekie’s training partner Laura Muir also suffered a rare off-day in the 1500m which was won impressively by Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon.

Chanelle Price ran a perfect 62.41 first lap and the second was even faster at 61.94 as she sped past 800m in 2:04.35 with Kipyegon right behind and Muir having decided to back off after following the Kenyan on the opening 600m.

Five years ago Muir beat Kipyegon in a stunning British record post-Olympics in Paris but as Kipyegon powered through 1200m (62.36 for that circuit), Muir had been swallowed up by the pack.

Kipyegon’s last 400m of 61.76 was actually her fastest but she not surprisingly lacked the zip she showed in Tokyo but her still superb 3:53.23 gave her a six-second win over Linden Hall’s 3:59.73.

In her Diamond league debut USA’s Josette Norris was third in 4:00.07 as a weary Muir finished 12th in 4:05.92.

Kipyegon said: “I’ve run the best I could. I ran a 3:53. I’m looking forward to next year and being back in Oregon.”

The full Tokyo podium took part in the women’s steeplechase but it was won by someone who had not raced since winning in a world lead 9:00.67 in Doha in May as she awaited a transfer away from Kenya.

The early pace was fast with the pacemaker leading through in 2:55.20. However it had slowed at 2000m as Norah Jeruto Tanui led past 2000m in 5:59.30 though she pushed on again and only Olympic silver medallist Courtney Frerichs was able to respond.

Even Frerichs though began to lose contact as Jeruto hit the bell in 7:46 and a 67.03 final circuit saw her win in 8:53.65 to not only set a Meeting record and improve her world lead but also go third all-time.

She said: “The race was very good for me. Since I finished Doha and went back and prepared very good for this race today.”

Frerichs tired over the last 100 metres but her brave attempt to go with the pace was rewarded with a US record 8:57.77, the first time an American has been inside nine minutes.

While the American matched her Tokyo position so did Kenyan Hyvin Kiyeng and her 9:00.65 moved her to third on the 2021 world rankings.

The first six were inside 9:10 but that did not include surprise Olympic winner Peruth Chemutai.

The Ugandan returned to her modest pre-Olympic form which had seen her finish eighth in Doha and fifth in Hengelo with a seventh place 9:10.87.

Elizabeth Bird was also unable to replicate her British record form out in Japan and was 12th in a rare off day in 9:59.51.

Olympic silver medallist Dalilah Muhammad was an easy winner of the 400m hurdles in 52.77 with Shamier Little a distant second in 53.79.

The former world record-holder said: “You never know what that first race is going to be like after a big championship, so I’m just happy to come home with the win.

It’s such positive feedback we’ve been given, both men and women, So I’m just happy to be part of that.”

Panama’s Gianna Woodruff was third in 54.20.

In the pole vault, Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw was the first to clear 4.52m though it took her a second attempt and she also cleared 4.62m at the second attempt after a nasty fall on her first jump.

Olympic champion Katie Nageotte only got over on her third attempt so the Briton was ahead and she strengthened her position as she went over 4.72m with her first jump while the American only managed at the second.

After two jumps at 4.82m with both athletes failing Bradshaw was still leading but Nageotte showed her competitive mettle to go over at the third attempt and take the contest as the Briton bowed at at that height.

The American said: “I was really feeling exhausted quickly. I felt like I was just gassed. I didn’t have a lot of energy. I wasn’t expecting that. I was excited to come in. I felt good in the warm-ups and then it just crashed. So I’m really, really proud that I came away with the win.”

The women’s high jump also went to the wire with Olympic fourth placer Iryna Geraschenko winning with a 1.98m leap after a jump-off from Vashti Cunningham.

For our report on the men’s events at the Pre Classic, CLICK HERE

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