Italy’s newly crowned European champion Libania Grenot may have been defeated in the 400m, but the nation’s rising middle-distance star Federica Del Buono thrilled the enthusiastic Rovereto crowd when winning the 1500m at the Palio della Quercia meeting on Tuesday (2).
Del Buono took the lead with one lap to go before pulling away to take an outstanding win in an Italian age-19 best of 4:05.32, putting her seventh on the Italian all-time list. Kenyan Stacy Ndiwa finished runner-up in 4:06:10 ahead of Ukraine’s Anna Mishchenko (4:06.63).
Daughter of 1971 European indoor bronze medallist Gianni Del Buono and former middle-distance runner Rossella Gramola, who is also her coach, the teenager improved her PB for the third time in the space of a month.
She clocked 4:07.49 in the European Championships final in Zurich and then went on to smash her personal best on the same Letzigrund track last week in her first ever IAAF Diamond League race.
“I did not expect to improve my PB again after running in Zurich last week,” said Del Buono. “It’s a special feeling to win in front of the home crowd. I started my season with 4:16. My aim at the start of the year was to qualify for the European Championships.”
Making her first appearance since winning the European 400m title, Italy's Libania Grenot could not reproduce the kind of form that saw her run 50.55 on this same track earlier this year to win the Italian title.
Nevertheless, she ran another solid race to finish runner-up to Commonwealth champion Stephenie Ann McPherson, who pulled away from the rest of the field with 100 metres to go to take a solid win in 50.69.
Grenot came off the bend in third place but she finished strongly, holding off Jamaica’s Christine Day to take second place in 51.30. Day took third place in 51.66. The Italian record-holder will next run in Brussels on Friday and then at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech in both the 400m and 4x400m.
Cornelius Kangogo broke away with 300 metres to go to take the win in a tactical 5000m in 13:24.01, finishing ahead of world leader Muktar Edris.
US sprinter Barbara Pierre stormed to 11.16 to beat Jamaican Carrie Russell (11.29) to take the win in the women’s 100m. Pierre narrowly missed out on the meeting record set by Irina Privalova in 1993.
Former Olympic 110m hurdles champion and world record-holder Dayron Robles edged out Greece’s Kostantinos Douvalidis in 13.29, coming close to the 13.27 meeting record set by double Olympic champion Roger Kingdom in 1990.
World silver medallist and world leader Justin Gatlin won the men’s 100m in 10.07 into a slight headwind of -0.4m/s.
Lavonne Idlette dipped under 13 seconds to clinch the win in the women’s 100m hurdles with 12.98 into a strong head wind of -1.7m/s ahead of Jasmine Stowers (13.06) and Italian champion Marzia Caravelli (13.26).
Latvian Aiga Grabuste, fifth at the European Championships in Zurich, clinched the win in the women’s long jump on count-back over Swiss record-holder Irene Pusterla with a wind-assisted 6.75m. The former heptathlete’s second-best jump of 6.73m gave her the edge over Pusterla, who improved her season’s best.
Ukraine’s Oksana Okuneva was the only jumper to clear 1.94m in the women’s high jump. European under-23 champion Alessia Trost improved her season’s best to 1.91m to finish second before failing three attempts at 1.94m.
Trinidad and Tobago’s 2009 world 400m bronze medallist Renny Quow held off Jamaican Rasheed McDonald in the men’s 400m in 45.13, while Abdulaziz Mohamed won a tactical 800m in 1:47.12
The 50th anniversary meeting was attended by some past athletics stars who featured in previous editions of the meeting, including Javier Sotomayor, Sara Simeoni, Gabriella Dorio, Nenad Stekic (long jump meeting record-holder with 8.32m) and Fita Lovin (800m meeting record-holder with 1:57.69).
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF