Coleman, Jackson triumph in Eugene as world champs Lyles, Richardson disappoint

athletics16 September 2023 21:40| © AFP

American Christian Coleman and Jamaica's Shericka Jackson won the men's and women's 100m at the Diamond League finals on Saturday as Noah Lyles and Sha'Carri Richardson were denied.

Lyles and Richardson weren't the only gold medallists from last month's World Championships in Budapest to be disappointed in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday, as American Rai Benjamin stunned world and Olympic champion Karsten Warholm in the 400m hurdles.

Coleman, the world champion in 2019 who finished a disappointing fifth in Budapest, matched the season's best time of 9.83sec for the second time in two weeks after winning in the same time at the Xiamen Diamond League on September 2.

He is one of three men to post that time this year, along with Britain's Zharnel Hughes and Lyles – who was unable to make good on his desire to break out of that group and finish his outstanding season with the outright best time of the year.

Lyles, who won 100m and 200m gold in Budapest, was second in 9.85sec and Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya was third in the same time.

After a false start saw Ackeem Blake of Jamaica disqualified, Coleman got off to a solid if unspectacular start.

He powered through the middle stages and had enough to hold off the charging Lyles and Omanyala.

"In races like that I usually might get tight or just not execute the back end, but I was able to just find a sense of confidence and believe in myself, like I knew I was supposed to win this race and so I was able to stay composed and put out a win at the end," Coleman said.

Lyles, exhausted after his 200m Diamond League win in Zurich, had considered opting out of the season finale.

Disappointed not to win, he was nevertheless satisfied with his second-fastest time of the year and a chance to race one more time in front of home fans after his gold treble in Budapest.

"After a World Championship win, I know that's what they really wanted to see," he said. "I was able to do a victory lap, even though I didn't win the victory, but they were just as excited."

Jackson grabbed the first leg of what she hopes is a sprint double in Eugene, powering to victory in 10.70sec.

The 29-year-old Jamaican is due back on the Hayward Field track on Sunday when she'll try one more time for the 200m world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.

Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast was second on 10.75 and Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah was thrid in 10.79.

Richardson, doomed by a poor start, clocked 10.80.

Benjamin pulled off a stunner, clocking a Diamond League record – and the fourth-fastest 400 hurdles time ever – of 46.39.

Norway's Warholm had powered to the front at the fourth hurdle.

Benjamin, disappointed with bronze in Budapest, closed the gap over the final two hurdles and surged past in the final strides as Warholm finished second in 46.53sec.

Benjamin said a decision to revert to his old race strategy had paid dividends.

"Went back to my old race model, because my second half is just amazing. Just tried to channel that today and I feel like I did a really good job," he said.

Warholm acknowledged that despite his end-of-season fatigue he was "pissed off" at losing.

"Over the last hurdle I was feeling good," he said. "I thought I had it, but when he comes to the side you know that he's gonna pass you because he has higher speed over the last hurdle."

- Kipyegon dominates -

Other world champions fared better.

Kenyan Faith Kipyegon remained unbeaten at 1 500m this year, posting a dominant victory in 3min 50.72sec.

Kipyegon, who won the 2022 world title on the same Hayward Field track and retained her title in Budapest as part of an historic 1 500-5 000 double, was barely challenged, with world silver medallist Diribe Welteji finishing second in 3:53.93 and Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir third in 3:55.16.

Winfred Mutile Yavi of Bahrain won the 3 000m steeplechase in sensational style, clocking the second-fastest time ever of 8:50.66.

World record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech was second in 8:51.67 and fellow Kenyan Faith Cherotich third in 8:59.65.

World champion Haruka Kitaguch of Japan won the women's javelin with a throw of 63.78m.

The showdown between co-world champions Katie Moon and Nina Kennedy fizzled in the women's pole vault. America's Moon won with height of 4.86m while Kennedy was fifth at 4.56.

Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen threatened the mile world record, winning in 3:43.73, just six-tenths outside the world record set by Hicham el Gerrouj in 1999.