USA's Christina Manning in action in the 60m hurdles (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Athlone, Ireland

Manning the standout performer in Athlone

USA’s Christina Manning produced the top performance at the Athlone International Grand Prix on Wednesday (15), speeding to a 7.82 victory in the 60m hurdles.

The 26-year-old won her heat in 7.91, just 0.02 shy of the PB she set in Karlsruhe 11 days ago, and then dominated the final, stopping the clock at an Irish all-comers’ record of 7.82. Her winning time elevates her to eighth on the US indoor all-time list and 21st on the world indoor all-time list. This year, only outdoor world record-holder Kendra Harrison has run faster.

“I’m so happy,” said the 2012 NCAA indoor and outdoor champion. “I’ve been through injury after injury over the past four years but now I’m back and running better than ever. I ruptured my achilles in 2013, then I injured my hamstring and then I had micro tears in my other achilles. Now I’m excited to go the National Championships after running such a good time.”

USA’s Sharika Nelvis and Australia’s 2012 Olympic champion Sally Pearson were both timed at 7.92 with Nelvis being awarded the runner-up spot in a photo finish.

In the final event of the night, the men’s 60m, it looked as though there would be another US victory on the Athlone straight. But D’Angelo Cherry, having just edged into the lead, appeared to pick up an injury and was forced to slow down. It allowed Ghana’s Sean Safo-Antwi to take the win in 6.56, breaking Cherry’s stadium record from last year. World indoor bronze medallist Ramon Gittens finished second in a season’s best of 6.60 while Cherry still managed to finish third in 6.69.

In what has been a superb season for indoor 600m running, another record fell in Athlone. 2013 world U18 bronze medallist Kyle Langford overtook USA’s Erik Sowinski in the closing stages to take the victory in a British record of 1:16.10. Sowinski was just 0.05 behind in second.

Australia’s Ryan Gregson broke free from the pack with a few laps left of the mile and went on to score a comfortable victory in 3:56.49. In second, Johan Rogestedt became the first Swedish man to run a sub-four-minute mile indoors, clocking a national record of 3:58.11.

World silver medallist Melissa Bishop was a class apart in the 800m. The Canadian stuck to the pacemaker for the first 500m and maintained her lead to the finish, winning in a season’s best of 2:01.42. Latvia’s Liga Velvere set a national record of 2:02.18 in second.

Romanian Olympian Claudia Bobocea produced the most dominant performance of the night. She was the only woman in the 1500m field to follow pacemaker Kendra Chambers during the first half of the race and did her best to maintain her form throughout the closing stages. The 24-year-old finished almost exactly three seconds ahead of her rivals, clocking an outright PB of 4:08.19, breaking the Irish all-comers' record in the process.

Elsewhere, USA’s Lakeisha Lawson won the 60m in a season’s best of 7.20 while Britain’s hurdles specialist Sebastian Roger won the 400m in 46.57. World indoor bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen won the long jump with 6.54m and Jamal Wilson of The Bahamas won the high jump with 2.23m.

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF

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