2018 Ostrava Golden Spike Recap: Echevarria Soars to 8.66 World Leader in LJ, Gatlin Tunes Up For USAs with Win in 100, Barega Wins Again

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By LetsRun.com
June 13, 2018

Though the Ostrava Golden Spike meet is part of the IAAF World Challenge Series, it often attracts Diamond League quality fields, and this year’s event was no exception. Today’s meet, held in cool, breezy conditions in the same stadium that will host the IAAF Continental Cup in September, produced two new world leaders, headlined by another magnificent performance by 19-year-old Cuban long jump sensation Juan Miguel Echevarria. With world record holder Mike Powell watching from the stands, Echevarria, who jumped a windy 8.83 meters in Stockholm on Sunday, wasted no time, getting out to 8.40 meters on his first jump (despite a 1.0 m/s headwind) to break the 20-year-old meet record previously held by fellow Cuban Ivan Pedroso.

Even Echevarria couldn't quite believe how far he jumped today

Even Echevarria couldn’t quite believe how far he jumped today

But Echevarria was just getting started. He’d improve to 8.54 on his second jump (0.3 wind) — a wind-legal pb — and then caught a friendly 1.0 tailwind in round three to soar out to 8.66 meters — the longest wind-legal jump in the world since 2009 (it also moved Echevarria into a tie for 10th on the all-time list). After passing his fourth attempt, Echevarria went 8.54 (this time into a 1.6 headwind) in round five. His sixth-round jump was the farthest of all, close to nine meters, but Echevarria fouled.

Instead, he had to settle for two personal bests and one of the best series in decades. Echevarria recorded three jumps over 8.50 meters today (two into significant headwinds), the first time anyone had done that in the same series since Pedroso in 1997. For comparison, Greg Rutherford, the 2012 Olympic and 2015 world champ, and one of the greatest long jumpers of this era, has only surpassed 8.50 meters once in his life. Rutherford’s 8.51 pb would have been the fourth-best jump of Echevarria’s series today.

Men's Long Jump
1	Juan Miguel ECHEVARRÍA	CUB CUB	8.66	+1.0
2	Luvo MANYONGA	RSA RSA	8.31	+0.3
3	Ruswahl SAMAAI	RSA RSA	8.15	+0.3
4	Jeff HENDERSON	USA USA	7.91	-0.3
5	Miltiadis TENTOGLOU	GRE GRE	7.88	-1.6
6	Radek JUŠKA	CZE CZE	7.85	+0.8
7	Damar FORBES	JAM JAM	7.42	-1.7

The other world lead came in the men’s 3,000 meters as Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega clocked a world leading 7:37.53 thanks to a 55 second final lap to make it three straight wins following Diamond League victories in Eugene and Stockholm. American Ben True, who was with the large lead pack at the bell, finished eighth in 7:41.86 after a last lap of roughly 58.3.

In the men’s 100, world champ Justin Gatlin got out well and handily dispatched Commonwealth champ Akani Simbine (10.13) and Mike Rodgers (10.15) to win the 100 in a season’s best of 10.03 (-0.7 wind). Gatlin, who has not been defeated in the 100 at USAs since 2011 (he didn’t run the event in 2014 or 2015), will face a quality field should he choose to defend his title in Des Moines. Ronnie Baker won in Eugene in Rome, Christian Coleman earned silver at Worlds last year, and Noah Lyles, who announced today that he will run the 100 at USAs, has been on fire in the 200 with a world-leading 19.69 at last month’s Pre Classic.

Video of Gatlin’s race:

Gatlin looked good in the 100

Gatlin looked good in the 100

Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim won a dramatic men’s high jump to make it five wins from five starts this year outdoors. After clearing his first four bars without a miss, Barshim fell behind world indoor champ Danil Lysenko when Barshim missed 2.34 on his first attempt and Lysenko sailed clear on his first attempt. Barshim passed to 2.36, where things got even worse for him: he missed his first attempt, only to see Lysenko sail over on his second. Once again, Barshim passed, giving himself one do-or-die attempt at 2.38 to stay in the competition. Barshim responded with a clutch clearance, and after Lysenko missed all three attempts at 2.38, Barshim clinched the victory and a meet record.

In other distance action, Morocco’s Rababe Arafi impressively won the women’s 800 in 1:59.20 as Genzebe Dibaba faded over the final 200 meters to finish fourth in 2:01.51, while Norah Jeruto claimed the women’s steeple in 9:11.33. In the 1500, Stockholm winner Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia won handily in 4:02.45 as Brit Sarah McDonald ran a PR of 4:04.41 to finish second.

Elsewhere, Canada’s Aaron Brown took down world champ Ramil Guliyev in the 200 (20.05) while Qatar’s Abdalelah Haroun crushed the competition in the men’s 400 (44.63). American triple jump specialist Christian Taylor was third in 45.58. Dafne Schippers claimed the 200 in 22.52 and Tom Walsh, another London 2017 world champion, won the shot put in 22.16 as Olympic champ Ryan Crouser could only manage one legal throw and finished 4th.

Full results can be found here.


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