Robert Harting again got the upper hand over his regular rival Piotr Malachowski when the three-time world champion threw a season’s best of 68.36m in the fifth round to extend his lead to more than three metres over the rest of the field at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday (5).
Earlier in the competition, the German had thrown over 66 metres three times while Poland’s Malachowski ended up as the best of the rest after he sent his implement to 65.86m in the second round.
The pair have now met each other on no fewer than 61 occasions since they first encountered each other at the 2005 European Under-23 Championships, with the head-to-head count now standing at 44-17 to Harting.
The competition was billed as a repeat of the Moscow 2013 final, with the top eight men from that contest all in the Rome field. But, after the top two, the distances dropped off and third place went to Russia’s Viktor Butenko with 64.87m
Valerie Adams notched up her 48th consecutive win but it’s not one that will feature too highly in her scrapbook as her second-round effort of 20.01m sufficed for victory, in sharp contrast to the New Zealander’s last appearance in the Olympic Stadium two years ago when she launched her shot out to 21.03m for a meeting and IAAF Diamond League record.
Caterine Ibarguen was another to extend her winning streak and it was very much a case of ‘lucky 13’ for the Colombian triple jumper who now has that number of victories to her name.
Ibarguen slightly strained the muscle behind her right knee while running up for her second attempt but still managed to bound out to 14.48m before passing her next three jumps as a precaution.
Russia’s Ekaterina Koneva, the silver medallist behind Ibarguen at the World Championships last summer, and Cuba’s Mabel Gay kept Ibarguen biting her nails but neither could overtake her and when their sixth-round jumps fell short, Ibarguen passed that attempt as well.
Koneva’s 14.42m in the last round saw her leapfrog over Gay to take second place.
“I was worried when I was watching the other girls, and I could have jumped in the sixth round if I had to, but I’m glad I didn’t have to. My knee hurts a lot at the moment,” said Ibarguen later.
At least, as Ibarguen is a qualified nurse, she should be able to diagnose her problem and chart out a path for a speedy recovery.
Panama’s Alonso Edward has suffered a variety of disappointments in the four years that followed him taking a 200m silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championship but this season he has returned to the form that saw him make the podium in Berlin and uncorked arguably the most significant win of his career when he won in 20.19.
It helped that he was chased all the way down the home straight by France’s European 100m champion Christophe Lemaitre, who looked at one stage as though he was about to overtake Edward once he started to close the gap off the bend.
However, the Panamanian held his form and held off the charging Lemaitre, who was second in 20.24.
After an even start in the women’s 100m, Simone Facey in lane one had slight edge at 30 metres before her Jamaican compatriot Kerron Stewart, two lanes on Facey’s inside, moved into pole position between 50 and 80 metres.
However, out in lane seven, Tori Bowie moved through the gears over the final 20 metres and the late burst propelled her home in front in a personal best of 11.05.
Better known as a long jumper prior to this year, Bowie had given astute observers plenty of notice that she could be the danger with her 22.18 200m win in Eugene.
Stewart hung on to take second in 11.08 with Facey third in 11.13.
World champion and IAAF World Athlete of the Year Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was never a threat in the second half of the race and came home a disappointed eighth in 11.19.
US sprinter Justin Gatlin has been a commanding presence over 100m this summer and he won for the second successive year over the distance in Rome, crossing the line in 9.91.
His win, especially as the race was not a Diamond Race event, will not create as many headlines around the world as it did 12 months ago when he beat Usain Bolt, but it was still an impressive performance with just a gentle 0.4m/s following breeze.
Jamaica’s Nesta Carter was a distant second in 10.02.
Mohammed Aman showed a good turn of speed in the men’s 800m, not a Diamond Race event in Rome, to leave Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki trailing in his wake over the final 50 metres, the pair clocking 1:44.24 and 1:44.57.
Nijel Amos, the winner in Eugene on Saturday, felt ill during the afternoon and the Botswanan was a non-starter.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF