It may have been aided by a strong following wind, but world and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor produced one of the longest leaps of his career to win at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Szekesfehervar on Tuesday (9).
Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Christian Coleman sped to seasons bests to win their respectively 200m races, while Pawel Fajdek resumed his rivalry with fellow Pole Wojciech Nowicki in the men’s hammer, part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge.
Taylor was up against two of his biggest rivals: two-time world silver medallist Pedro Pablo Pichardo and two-time world indoor champion Will Claye, who was contesting his first triple jump competition since leaping a world-leading 18.14m 10 days ago. It was the first time three men with 18-metre PBs had lined up against one another in a triple jump competition.
Claye took an early lead with 17.52m but Taylor responded immediately with a season’s best of 17.55m. Taylor improved to 17.68m in round three, breaking the meeting record, but Claye kept up the pressure, leaping 17.66m in round four and 17.61m in round five.
Aided by a 3.4m/s following wind – one of just two illegal wind readings in the entire competition – Taylor bounded out to 17.93m in the penultimate round to extend his lead. Under any conditions, Taylor has jumped farther than that on just five occasions, two of which were in World Championships finals.
Claye fouled out in the final round while Taylor closed his series with 17.61m. Pichardo was third with 17.29m.
Decisive 200m wins for Coleman and Miller-Uibo
In what was just his second 200m race since June 2017, world indoor champion Christian Coleman crossed the line comfortably ahead of world champion Ramil Guliyev and Canada’s Aaron Brown.
Unsurprisingly for someone who holds the world indoor 60m record, Coleman got off to a strong start and had a lead of about a metre over Guliyev as they came off the bend. He extended his lead over the next 50 metres and maintained it to the end, crossing the line in 19.91 (0.6m/s).
Coleman’s winning mark was the second-fastest clocking of his career, just 0.06 behind his PB. It also broke the meeting record of 20.14 set two years ago by Isiah Young.
Guliyev was a couple of metres adrift in second place, finishing just ahead of Brown, 20.23 to 20.24.
Miller-Uibo’s winning margin in the women’s 200m was even bigger than Coleman’s.
The Olympic 400m champion, contesting her first half-lap sprint of 2019, was roughly level with Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Jenna Prandini at the half-way point, but pulled away from the field down the home straight to win in 22.18 (0.7m/s).
The Bahamian’s time took 0.34 off Veronica Campbell-Brown’s meeting record from 2016. Ta Lou was second in 22.76 with Prandini taking third place in 22.88.
Miller-Uibo’s compatriot Steven Gardiner impressed over one lap of the track. The world silver medallist finished more than a second ahead of his opponents to win the 400m in 44.45, taking exactly half a second off his season's best.
Fajdek gets the better of Nowicki
In what was their sixth clash of 2019, three-time world champion Pawel Fajdek defeated European champion Wojciech Nowicki in the hammer and moved to the top of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge standings.
Fajdek improved with each of his four measured throws, opening with 76.38m and following it with 78.65m, 80.41m and 80.49m.
Nowicki, however, seemingly struggled and was five metres shy of his season’s best, managing 76.60m in the fifth round. It was enough for just third place as Hungary’s European bronze medallist Bence Halasz threw 77.36m to finish runner-up to Fajdek.
France’s 2015 world bronze medallist Alexandra Tavernier won the women’s hammer. All six of her throws – ranging from 71.75m to 72.84m in what was an incredibly consistent series – would have been enough to win as Poland’s Joanna Fiodorow finished second with 71.72m.
Hurdle wins for Holloway and Harrison
Sprint hurdler Grant Holloway was making his highly anticipated professional debut and did not disappoint.
The 21-year-old, competing for the first time since winning the NCAA 110m hurdles title in a world-leading 12.98, ran a composed race to win in 13.16. Brazil’s Gabriel Constantino was a close second in a South American record of 13.18.
The women’s 100m hurdles was similarly close as world record-holder Kendra Harrison held off two-time world indoor champion Nia Ali, 12.60 to 12.63. Sharika Nelvis was third in 12.66.
European bronze medallist Ilya Ivanyuk cleared a world-leading 2.33m to win the high jump, adding two centimetres to his lifetime best. Ukraine's Andrii Protsenko and Kenya's Matthew Sawe both cleared 2.28m, while Ivanyuk skipped that height. All three men struggled with 2.30m with Protsenko and Sawe exiting the competition but Ivanyuk got over it on his final attempt to take the lead. He then went on to clear 2.33m with his first try.
Swedish discus thrower Daniel Stahl added another victory to his tally in his 2019 head-to-head record with Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres, bringing it to 4-2. Dacres had the early lead with his second-round throw of 67.67m, but Stahl responded with a fourth-round effort of 68.77m.
Elsewhere, there were dominant wins from Salwa Eid Naser in the 400m, clocking 50.13, and Genzebe Dibaba in the 2000m, winning in 5:33.76.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF