Victories by Dina Asher-Smith and Ameer Webb in the 150m dash were among the key highlights of the Great North CityGames street athletics competition in Newcastle on Saturday (9).
In the women's race, Asher-Smith and Bianca Williams, both members of the silver medal-winning 4x100m relay team from IAAF World Championships London 2017 last month, were head to head over the rarely-raced distance.
Asher-Smith continued her remarkable recovery from a broken foot to win in 16.70 from Williams who clocked 17.00 while Dutchwoman Naomi Sedney was third in 17.40.
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, the anchor in the 4x100m men’s relay team who won the gold at the World Championships, was denied victory in the men’s 150m with the 23-year-old finishing second to Webb of the US who clocked 15.24. Mitchell-Blake finished in 15.26 ahead of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey who clocked 15.38.
There was a rare occurrence in the women’s long jump after the top three all recorded the same distance of 6.46m.
Lorraine Ugen took the win on countback with her second best jump of 6.43m superior to that of Latvian Kseninja Balta and Jazmin Sawyers who finished second and third respectively.
"I’ve never seen that before, with everyone jumping the same distance," Ugen said. "I kind of like these because they’re quite fun, you just get to bring the crowd in and have a fun competition.
“I wasn’t expecting everyone to jump the same distance! I think it makes it a bit more exciting when it’s like 'ooh what’s going to happen'.”
Desiree Henry got the afternoon off to a fine start with victory in the women’s 100m, finishing 0.04 ahead of 4x100m relay teammate Asha Philip, Henry clocking 11.61 for the win. South Africa’s Carina Horn was third with 11.78.
Henry said: “This 2017 season has absolutely been amazing for me. Just to come away with a win on my last race of the season.”
In the first mile of the day, Jordan Williamsz won in 4:05.88, the Australian ahead of Brit Elliot Giles in 4:06.17 and Marcin Lewandowski in 4:06.67.
"It’s my first time here," Williamsz said. "I wasn’t too sure what to expect - I thought it was more built around the half marathon but that was awesome, such a good atmosphere the whole way around, there’s nothing like it, it was nothing like I’ve ever run. It certainly blew the expectations I had out of the window.”
With Aries Merritt pulling out of the men’s 110m hurdles in midweek, the path was cleared for Czech Petr Svoboda to win in 13.62, with American Jarret Eaton second in 13.69 and Koen Smet third in 13.80.
Perri Shakes-Drayton earned a surprise victory in the women’s 500m, clocking 1:06.69 ahead of Anyika Onuora in 1:06.70 with Lisanne De Witte third with 1:07.19.
"This wasn’t in my plan in terms of being here, because usually after my championships I’m done," Shakes-Drayton said. "I’ve never done Gateshead before, it’s my first time. Today to get the win, I’m in a good place.”
Nijel Amos won the men’s 500m in 59.26 from Guy Learmouth in 1:00.73 and Dwayne Cowan third in 1:01.01.
Melissa Courtney held off the threat of Kenya’s Winny Chebet to win the women’s mile in 4:33.83, with Chebet second in 4:34.42 and Rosie Clarke third in 4:34.42.
In the men’s pole vault, Urho Kujanpaa took victory with 5.45m, the Finn finishing ahead of France’s Stanley Joseph and Finland’s Tomas Wecksten with 5.30m apiece.
Organisers for the IAAF