Rabat Recap: Almaz Ayana’s World Record Attempt Comes Up Just Short (14:16.31), Caster Semenya Wins Again (1:56.64), Another WL for Conseslus Kipruto (8:02.77), and Pierre-Ambroise Bosse (1:44.51) Gets His First Career DL Win

By LetsRun.com
May 22, 2016

The Diamond League’s first trip to Africa was a successful one as there were world leaders in three of the four DL distance races at the 2016 Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Atlétisme in Rabat, Morocco. Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana crushed everyone and just missed the world record in the women’s 5,000, clocking 14:16.31, while Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto ran 8:02.77 to lower his world lead in the steeplechase and earn his second DL victory of the season. Caster Semenya also continued to excel in the women’s 800, pulling away from Francine Niyonsaba and making 1:56.64 (the fastest time in the world since 2012) look really, really easy.

In other action, Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse got his first career DL win in the 800, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson ran 11.02 into a big headwind to take the women’s 100 and LaShawn Merritt kept his strong season going by claiming the men’s 400 in 44.66. We provide a full recap of the meet plus analysis below.

Women’s 5,000: Almaz Ayana Runs 14:16.31 World Leader as WR Attempt Comes Up Short

The world record only appears to be a matter of time for Ayana Ayana threatened the WR again on Sunday but came up short

Until Almaz Ayana meets Genzebe Dibaba, she will only have one rival: the clock. The conditions in Rabat weren’t ideal for distance running as it was 70 degrees with 68% humidity and swirling winds (13 mph) in the stadium, and the 6:45 p.m. start time meant that the athletes had to run in the sun.

Yet even with the conditions working against her and a rabbit only taking her through 1600 (there are few women in the world who can hang with Ayana through 3000, let alone the entire 5000), Ayana blazed a world-leading 14:16.31 to win by a monstrous 13 seconds. The rest of the field benefitted as well as seven of the nine women wound up setting personal bests on the night.

The rabbits were prescribed world-record pace and they came through 1600 at right around that in 4:33 (WR pace is a hair under 4:32.4 per 1600). At that point, however, the final rabbit dropped out and Ayana would have to do the rest of the work on her own. Senbere Teferi, who was the runner-up at Worlds last year behind Ayana, was two meters back at that point (the only other woman close to Ayana), but within 200 meters that gap had ballooned to 10m and would only grow the rest of the way.

Ayana reached 3k in 8:32.33, 3200 in 9:06 and 3400 in 9:41; she needed to run her last 1600 in sub-4:30 to get Tirunesh Dibaba’s world record of 14:11.15. But she slowed to 70s over her next two laps, and with 800 to go (12:01), the world record seemed to be off the table. A 69-second lap followed, and though Ayana kicked it in over the final 400, closing in a 66, she wound up five seconds off the WR in 14:16.31 in a truly dominant display.

A slew of personal bests followed as Viola Kibiwot became just the second Kenyan (after Vivian Cheruiyot) to break 14:30, running 14:29.50, Teferi sliced a second off her best to run 14:35.09 in third and Kenya’s Janet Kisa (14:52.59 to 14:38.70) and Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh (15:17.05 to 14:41.58) got massive PRs in fourth and fifth.

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    1 Ayana , Almaz                    ETH   14:16.31         10        
    2 Kibiwot , Viola Jelagat          KEN   14:29.50          6        
    3 Teferi , Senbere                 ETH   14:35.09          4        
    4 Kisa , Janet                     KEN   14:38.70          3        
    5 Yeshaneh , Ababel                ETH   14:41.58          2        
    6 Heroye , Alemitu                 ETH   14:43.58          1        
    7 Bahta , Meraf                    SWE   14:49.95                   
    8 Lewetegn , Sentayehu             ETH   15:06.49                   
    9 Kudzelich , Sviatlana            BLR   15:50.57                   
      Wafula , Lydia Nasimiyu          KEN        DNF                   
      Plis , Renata                    POL        DNF                   

Quick Take #1: Ayana wants the WR, says “wind was too disturbing today”; reveals she wants to attempt 5k/10k double in Rio
“I feel disappointed because I wanted to break the world record,” Ayana told the IAAF afterwards. “However the wind was too disturbing today. I am sure that I can break the record in one of my next races this year. In the Olympics, I am aiming to compete in both the 5000m and 10,000m.”

Quick Take #2: Ayana and Genzebe Dibaba need to race in a proper WR attempt sometime this year
Ayana is clearly in world-record shape right now and the only other woman capable of beating her is Genzebe Dibaba, who did just that over 5,000 meters in Paris last summer. That race was billed as a WR attempt but miscommunication over alternating laps led the pace to slow, with Dibaba winning in “only” 14:15.

Tirunesh Dibaba’s 5,000 WR is there for the taking, and Ayana could certainly get it without Dibaba in the field. Run the race at night with no wind, get adidas (Ayana’s sponsor) to shell out some big dough to get someone fast to pace her through 3,000 and Ayana should be able to do run 14:11.14 or faster.

Obviously it would be way more exciting to see two athletes chase the world record in the same race (Hicham El Guerrouj and Noah Ngeny’s duel for the mile WR in 1999 was unforgettable) but if Ayana and Dibaba are going to go after it together, they will likely have to wait until after the Olympics (though it would not be inconceivable for the front-running Ayana to pursue it in the Olympic final). Dibaba has already committed to WR attempts in the mile (on June 9 in Oslo) and 1500 (June 16 in Stockholm) plus she’s running the 3,000 in Monaco on July 15. There’s no women’s 5000 on the schedule in London (the final DL event before the Olympics) and even if there were, Dibaba may not want to add another race to her schedule.

Let’s just hope that, for the good of the sport, Ayana and Dibaba can come together and make a proper 5,000 WR attempt at some point. Yes, both women are still young (Ayana is 24, Dibaba 25), but nothing in the future is certain. It would be a shame if two of the fastest 5,000 runners of all time don’t take a crack at the WR in their prime this year.

How about next weekend? It’s a shame Ayana, an adidas-sponsored athlete, isn’t going to go for the WR in Eugene next weekend in the 5000 against Genzebe Dibaba at Nike’s Pre Classic.

Quick Take #3: The Ethiopian selectors could be in a pickle when deciding the women’s 10,000 team
Meseret Defar 
and Tirunesh Dibaba (who ran 31:16 on the roads on Sunday in her first race in two years) have already announced that they intend to pursue the 10,000 in Rio; now Ayana has joined them. Add in last year’s WC silver medallist Gelete Burka and Genzebe Dibaba, who has suggested she may try the 5k/10k double in Rio, and that’s five studs for three spots. It makes the most sense to hold a Trials, but it remains to be seen whether that will happen. But picking the team off of straight season bests will be tough considering there are so few world-class 10,000s these days.

Women’s 800: Caster Semenya Crushes Everyone Again, Runs World’s Fastest Time Since 2012

Semenya and Niyonsaba were far better than the rest of the field in Rabat Semenya and Niyonsaba were far better than the rest of the field in Rabat

The battle between 2016 world leader Caster Semenya of South Africa and 2016 World Indoor champ Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and the Oregon Track Club went exactly as we thought it would.

The two women were the class of the field. Niyonsaba kept it close for about 725 meters but Semenya pulled away and dominated the final 75 meters to win in 1:56.64 to Niyonsaba’s 1:57.74. 2013 world champion Eunice Sum looked totally outclassed after this one and was just fourth in 1:59.32.

Niyonsaba led Semenya at the bell (roughly 57 flat as the rabbit was 56.70) and at 600 (1:27.92) but there was no stopping Semenya over the final 200 as she picked it up a lot and slammed it home.

After the race, Semenya said she’s got more to come.

“What you see here is the outcome of the training. Of course, it gives a strong morale boost to beat a strong field like this one. I need to keep working hard in training now and then there is more to come,” said Semenya.

    1 Semenya , Caster                 RSA    1:56.64         10        
    2 Niyonsaba , Francine             BDI    1:57.74          6        
    3 Lamote , Renelle                 FRA    1:58.84          4        
    4 Sum , Eunice Jepkoech            KEN    1:59.32          3        
    5 Sharp , Lynsey                   GBR    1:59.51          2        
    6 Alemu , Habitam                  ETH    1:59.70          1        
    7 Akkaoui , Malika                 MAR    2:01.11                   
    8 Arzamasova , Marina              BLR    2:01.49                   
    9 Oskan-Clarke , Shelayna          GBR    2:01.65
   10 Józwik , Joanna                  POL    2:02.82
   11 Ennaoui , Sofia                  POL    2:05.13
      Hilali , Siham                   MAR        DNF                   
      Tkachuk , Anastasiia             UKR        DNF                   

Quick Thought #1: We’ll repeat what we said in our preview. Unless the Court of Arbitration for Sport changes its views on hyperandrogenism, we don’t think anyone is going to stop Semenya or Niyonsaba.
These two ladies have shown they capable of running in the 1:56 range (or faster) and no one else in the world has shown they are capable of that. 2015 world champ Marina Arzamasova has a pb of 1:57.54 and 2013 world champ Eunice Sum has a pb of 1:56.99.

If it wasn’t for doper Mariya Savinova, Semenya would be a two-time world and one-time Olympic champion. The commentators on the international broadcast basically handed the gold medal to Semenya today. We aren’t willing to do that as Niyonsaba is quite good. She ran 1:56 as a 19-year-old in 2012 and repeated it in 2013.

Niyonsaba certainly isn’t handing the gold to Semenya as she told the IAAF after the race, “It was an opportunity to test my performance and level. I feel confident and I am willing to win the Olympic Games in Rio.”

Fastest Women’s 800 Performances Since 2009

  1. 1:55.45    Caster Semenya                 RSA     07.01.91      1       Berlin                           19.08.2009
  2. 1:55.87    Mariya Savinova                RUS     13.08.85     1      Daegu                       04.09.2011
  3. 1:56.35    Caster Semenya                 RSA     07.01.91       2      Daegu                       04.09.2011
  4. 1:56.19    Mariya Savinova                RUS     13.08.85      1      London                      11.08.2012
  5. 1:56.59    Francine Niyonsaba         BDI      05.05.93       1      Bruxelles                   07.09.2012
  6. 1:56.64    Caster Semenya                 RSA     07.01.91        1       Rabat                         22.05.2016
  7. 1:56.72    Caster Semenya                 RSA     07.01.91        1      Bambous                    31.07.2009
  8. 1:56.72    Francine Niyonsaba         BDI      05.05.93       1      Eugene                        01.06.2013

Men’s 3000 Steeplechase: Conseslus Kipruto Smokes Jairus Birech Over Last Lap to Win in World-Leading 8:02

World Championship silver medallist Conseslus Kipruto picked up his second straight DL win and second straight world leader as he won the men’s steeple in 8:02.77 today, ahead of our #1 ranked steepler for 2015, Jairus Birech, who was second in 8:03.90. France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, the silver medallist at the last two Olympics, was a total non-factor in his first race since 2014 and ended up a DNF.

The results up front were just the same as they were in Doha but this race was much more competitive as Birech didn’t get gapped by Kipruto early like he did in Doha.

Kipruto and Birech did gap everyone else in this field by 1k in this one.  And for good reason: the split was 2:36.34! It slowed over the next 1k (5:17.72 at 2k) and would continue to slow until the last lap.

At the bell (7:00ish), a sub-8:00 clocking was in doubt. As they came off the penultimate turn, Kipruto turned on the jets and he instantly gapped Birech. With 200 to go, it was clear this baby was over barring a fall. After successfully getting over the final water jump, Kipruto decided to celebrate the first Diamond League victory on African soil by an African runner rather than go all-out for his first career sub-8:00 or pb (his pb is 8:01.13).

Screenshot (824) Kipruto’s early celebration may have cost him a sub-8:00

“I started celebrating entering the straight and I didn’t sprint anymore because there are more races to come. I want to go faster and faster and reach my best level at the Kenyan trials and in the Olympics,” said Kipruto.

    1 Kipruto , Conseslus              KEN    8:02.77         10        
    2 Birech , Jairus Kipchoge         KEN    8:03.90          6        
    3 Koech , Paul Kipsiele            KEN    8:12.33          4        
    4 Kipsang , Lawrence Kemboi        KEN    8:17.82          3        
    5 Kowal , Yoann                    FRA    8:18.48          2        
    6 Ezzine , Hamid                   MAR    8:19.31          1        
    7 Seboka , Tafese                  ETH    8:20.41                   
    8 Kimutai , Clement Kemboi         KEN    8:21.46                   
    9 Chatbi , Jamel                   ITA    8:21.92                   
   10 Elbakkali , Soufiane             MAR    8:22.66                   
   11 Bett , Nicholas Kiptonui         KEN    8:29.21                   
   12 Merzougui , Abdelaziz            ESP    8:30.64                   
   13 Chemlal , Jaouad                 MAR    8:31.87
   14 Nganga , Bernard Mbugua          KEN    8:37.52
   15 Kniya , Younes                   MAR    8:37.99
   16 D'Hoedt , Jeroen                 BEL    8:50.69
      Mekhissi , Mahiedine             FRA        DNF

Quick Though #1: This race was both good and bad for Evan Jager.
Mekhissi-Benabbad’s DNF was a huge boost to Jager’s medal hopes as Mekhissi-Benabbad is a proven championship racer. At the Olympics this year, the Kenyans will only get three entrants as compared to the four they got at Worlds last year but if you added back in Mekhissi-Benabbad, who wasn’t at Worlds last year, then it would be a wash. But if you take out a Kenyan and Mekhissi-Benabbad is a non-factor then a medal may become really a matter of just beating one Kenyan.

The bad news for Jager is that Kipruto looks to be in PR shape and Birech is clearly moving in the right direction as he was a lot better today than two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, Birech was dropped when 2k was hit in 5:20. Today he was right there until the final 300 despite a faster pace.

Birech admitted after the race that he was surprised by his own performance. “This was my season’s best, which I didn’t expect due to the problem I had which didn’t affect my performance as I thought they would,” said Birech.

Men’s 800: Pierre-Ambroise Bosse Runs a Brilliant Race to Earn First Career DL Win in Commanding Fashion

Bosse ran a terrific race Bosse ran a terrific race

France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, who was fifth at Worlds last year, earned his first career Diamond League victory, running patiently over the first 600 meters before exploding over the final 200 to win in 1:44.51. 2012 Olympic 1500 champ Taoufik Makhloufi was second in 1:44.91 while Nijel Amos had nothing over the final 100 and faded from second to sixth.

No one went with rabbit Edwin Meli in the early stages, and at 400 meters (51.17 for Meli), he had a gap of about eight meters on Moroccans Amine El Manaoui and Abdelatif Elguesse. Bosse sat waiting on the outside in the middle of the pack.

Amos made the first serious move of the race into the lead at 500 meters, but he couldn’t drop anyone; it was Bosse’s attack at 600 (1:17.19) that really strung out the field and he quickly gained a gap of a couple of meters over Amos and Makhloufi with 2015 Worlds bronze medallist Amel Tuka moving up into fourth place coming off the final turn. With 100 to go, Bosse began to power away and midway down the home stretch, it was obvious he was going to take the win. Makhloufi managed to close the gap slightly over the final 50 but was forced to settle for second; Amos had absolutely nothing over the final 100 and slipped from second to sixth in 1:47.34.

    1 Bosse , Pierre-Ambroise          FRA    1:44.51         10        
    2 Makhloufi , Taoufik              ALG    1:44.91          6        
    3 Tuka , Amel                      BIH    1:45.41          4        
    4 Lewandowski , Marcin             POL    1:45.76          3        
    5 El Guesse , Abdelati             MAR    1:46.80          2        
    6 Amos , Nijel                     BOT    1:47.34          1        
    7 El Manaoui , Amine               MAR    1:48.83                   
    8 Hairane , Jamal                  QAT    1:50.58                   
      Melly , Edwin Kiplagat           KEN        DNF

Quick Take #1: An impressive run from Bosse, who ran a tactically smart race
Bosse defeated a solid field today (even though 2015 Worlds silver medallist Adam Kszczot was a pre-race scratch) and he did so convincingly. And though 1:44.51 isn’t a super fast time, the way Bosse (whose pb is 1:42.53 from two years ago) ran it suggests that he’s capable of a lot more right now. Rather than attack the race from the front, Bosse was willing to run a little extra distance early by staying on the outside of lane 1/inside of lane 2, positioning himself well to move when he felt the time was right. When he did strike, with 200 to go, it was decisive and he put away some very good runners early.

Bosse often will go out at or near the front of races, but he tried out a more patient approach today and it worked out for him. Perhaps he will lean on that tactic more in the future.

“I didn’t want to place myself right behind the pacemaker as I would have done in the past,” Bosse told the IAAF. “Patience and clarity of thinking were the keywords of my race today. I didn’t want to [be] beaten on my tactics.”

Quick Take #2: An absolute stinker from Nijel Amos in his outdoor 800 debut
Amos, with his awkward, arms-flailing running form, never looks comfortable, but his final 100 today was downright ugly. Second with 100 to go, Makhloufi put over two seconds on him in the home straight as Amos finished way back in sixth in 1:47.34. It was his slowest time ever in a Diamond League race and his slowest in a non-championship race since his season opener in 2014, when he ran 1:48.84 in South Africa (a race he won). It will take more than one bad race for us to count Amos out from defending his Olympic silver from four years ago, but he can’t afford many more efforts like this one.

Men’s 3000: Abdelaati Iguider Puts On a Show For the Home Fans

Iguider honored his country after the race Iguider honored his country after the race

Native son Abdelaati Iguider of Morocco took the victory in the non-DL men’s 3000 to the delight of the screaming Rabat fans. The crowd was never as loud today as they were during the final lap when Iguider held the lead and they delighted in celebration as his victory, throwing him a Moroccan flag and mobbing him when he approached the stands.

The field, led by Azerbaijan’s Hayle Ibrahimov, hit 1600 in 4:07 as Iguider sat on his shoulder with Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela in third. With 800 to go, Ibrahimov continued to lead a big pack; Iguider looked incredibly comfortable in second.

At the bell, Iguider made his move as the crowd roared its approval, taking the lead as he, Ibrahimov and Spain’s Adel Mechaal had separated from everyone else. Iguider had a gap by the home stretch, but Ibrahimov wasn’t finished and tried to claw back the deficit. Iguider had plenty left, however, and as soon as he felt Ibrahimov coming with 80 to go, surged again and blew his rival away, clocking a world-leading 7:36.85.

    1 Iguider , Abdalaati              MAR    7:36.85                   
    2 Ibrahimov , Hayle                AZE    7:37.76                   
    3 Mechaal , Adel                   ESP    7:39.51                   
    4 Kipkoech , John Chepkwony        KEN    7:42.69                   
    5 Debela , Dejene                  ETH    7:44.96                   
    6 Maiyo , Hillary Kipkorir         KEN    7:45.62                   
    7 Aouad , Zouhair                  BRN    7:48.18                   
    8 Bouqantar , Soufiyan             MAR    7:49.17                   
    9 Ayele , Abayneh                  ETH    7:49.34                   
   10 Kipsang , Emmanuel Kiprono       KEN    7:49.56                   
   11 St.Lawrence , Ben                AUS    7:51.36                   
   12 Gashahun , Abe                   ETH    8:03.00                   
      Barusei , Geoffrey Kibet         KEN        DNF                   
      Kombich , Ismael Kipngetich      KEN        DNF

Quick Take #1: An expected victory for the home favorite
Like Mo Farah when he races in the UK, this field seemed set up for Iguider, last year’s world bronze medallist at 1500, to deliver a victory and he didn’t disappoint. We didn’t learn much about his current fitness from this effort, but the crowd won’t care about that as they were clearly pleased to see a Moroccan, any Moroccan, take a victory here.

“The race was good, especially with the warm crowd,” Iguider told the IAAF. “Although it’s not my specialty, I did well. My goal was to make the audience happy.”

Men’s 1500: Silas Kiplagat Beaten by Countryman Timothy Cheruiyot
In the non-Diamond League men’s 1500, Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot, who was 7th at Worlds last year, remained undefeated on the year as he won in 3:33.61, just ahead of Silas Kiplagat 3:33.68.  

26-year-old Aussie Ryan Gregson, who picked up the Olympic standard in the Netherlands with a 3:35.78 earlier this week, was third in 3:34.43, the third-best clocking in his life and his best time since he ran 3:33.92 in Doha in 2012.

“I did not expect to win this race today. It was pretty fast, this is a good beginning for me,” said Cheruiyot after the race. “I went in the lead early and I knew Silas was on my shoulder, so I had to keep going fast. The sprint was tough but I won it. This gives me confidence.”

    1 Cheruiyot , Timothy              KEN    3:33.61                   
    2 Kiplagat , Silas                 KEN    3:33.68                   
    3 Gregson , Ryan                   AUS    3:34.43                   
    4 Elkaam , Fouad                   MAR    3:34.96                   
    5 Tesfaye , Homiyu                 GER    3:35.05                   
    6 Carvalho , Florian               FRA    3:36.64                   
    7 Wolde , Dawit                    ETH    3:36.96                   
    8 Hlaselo , Dumisane               RSA    3:37.73                   
    9 Essalhi , Younés                 MAR    3:37.94                   
   10 Ali , Musaab Adam                QAT    3:38.04                   
   11 Moukrime , Tarik                 BEL    3:38.86                   
   12 Amdouni , Morhad                 FRA    3:39.32                   
   13 Keddar , Salim                   ALG    3:39.61
   14 Moustaoui , Mohamed              MAR    3:40.83
   15 Nabil , Oussama                  MAR    3:42.90
   16 Alonso , Carlos                  ESP    3:43.92
      Beriami , Adil                   MAR        DNF                   
      Bett , Reuben                    KEN        DNF                   

Women’s 3000 steeple: Diro Neda Takes It In Her Fastest Time in Almost Four Years

Ethiopia’s Etenesh Diro Neda, who went out in the heats at Worlds last year, took the win in this non-DL event, running 9:16.87, the #2 time of her career and fastest since August 2012. She finished almost 10 seconds up on second placer Gladys Kipkemoi of Kenya (who was hampered by a fall with two laps to go), while rabbit Caroline Tuigong hung in the race to finish third in a pb of 9:28.81. Former Florida runner Genevieve LaCaze was fourth in a new pb of 9:32.67.

3000 Metres Steeplechase - Women                              

    1 Diro , Etenesh                   ETH    9:16.87                   
    2 Kipkemoi , Gladys Jerotich       KEN    9:26.36                   
    3 Tuigong , Caroline Chepkurui     KEN    9:28.81                   
    4 LaCaze , Genevieve               AUS    9:32.67                   
    5 Adamu , Birtukan                 ETH    9:35.97                   
    6 Ansa , Weynshet                  ETH    9:41.74                   
    7 Sidi Madane , Fadwa              MAR    9:51.68                   
    8 Claude-Boxberger , Ophélie       FRA    9:58.49                   
    9 Danois , Maeva                   FRA    9:59.97                   
      García , Elena                   ESP        DNF


Women’s 100: Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson Runs 11.02 into Big Headwind
Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart got a great start and held the lead for the first half of the race, but the second half was all Elaine Thompson as the 2016 World Indoor 60-meter bronze medallist stormed away from the field to win in 11.02 despite a 1.3 m/s headwind. Thompson ran 10.71 two weeks ago with an illegal tailwind (2.4) so she should be able to go well under 11 seconds legally if the wind cooperates in her next meet.

    1 Thompson , Elaine                JAM      11.02         10        
    2 Okagbare , Blessing              NGR      11.11          6        
    3 Stewart , Kerron                 JAM      11.19          4        
    4 Horn , Carina                    RSA      11.28          3        
    5 Jeter , Carmelita                USA      11.32          2        
    6 Anderson , Alexandria            USA      11.45          1        
    7 Kambundji , Mujinga              SUI      11.45                   
    8 Okparaebo , Ezinne               NOR      11.46

Men’s 110 Hurdles: David Oliver Wins in Season-Best 13.12
Cuban-turned-Spaniard Orlando Ortega got the best start but 2013 world champ David Oliver moved up to challenge him as the race progressed and they were close to even over the final few hurdles. Oliver finally gained some separation over the last hurdle and beat out Ortega, 13.12 to 13.13. The time was an improvement on Oliver’s 13.16 sb from Doha two weeks ago and now ties him with Ortega at #3 in the world this year (Jamaica’s Omar McLeod remains the only man to have broken 13.00 in 2016).

    1 Oliver , David                   USA      13.12         10        
    2 Ortega , Orlando                 ESP      13.13          6        
    3 Alkana , Antonio                 RSA      13.28          4        
    4 Douvalídis , Konstadínos         GRE      13.38          3        
    5 Cabral , Johnathan               CAN      13.42          2        
    6 Richardson , Jason               USA      13.54          1        
    7 de Oliveira , João Vitor         BRA      13.90                   
      Contreras , Yidiel               ESP        DNF

Men’s 400: Merritt Wins as Makwala Runs Out of Gas
Botswana’s Isaac Makwala had a huge lead coming off the final turn but he tied up big time and faded all the way to third as LaShawn Merritt got the win in 44.66 to Makwala’s 45.26 in the battle between the 6th- and 7th-fastest men in history. Former FSU runner Kevin Borlée grabbed second in 45.26.

“I knew they were going to take it out very fast but I did my job and came through in the final stages,” said Merritt, who will run the Pre Classic next week.

    1 Merritt , LaShawn                USA      44.66         10        
    2 Borlée , Kévin                   BEL      45.26          6        
    3 Makwala , Isaac                  BOT      45.38          4        
    4 Brown , Chris                    BAH      45.75          3        
    5 Brenes , Nery                    CRC      45.78          2        
    6 Yousif , Rabah                   GBR      45.90          1        
    7 McDonald , Rusheen               JAM      46.79                   
    8 Borlée , Jonathan                BEL      46.81

Men’s 200: Panama’s Alonso Edward Runs a Windy 20.07 to Defeat a Weak Field
Most of the world’s top sprinters totally ignore the 200 on the Diamond League circuit, which has paved the way for Edward to win two straight DL titles. He picked up his first DL win of 2016 by running a good final 100 to pull away comfortably and win in a wind-aided 20.07 (3.8 m/s wind).

Brunto Hortelano-Roig, the Spanish national record holder at 200 (20.47) who dominated the Ivy League for Cornell while LetsRun.com’s Robert Johnson was coaching there, ran a good bend. He may have even had the lead coming off the turn and held second for most of the race but was just nipped at the line by the Ivory Coast’s Wilfried Koffi, 20.35 to 20.36.

    1 Edward , Alonso                  PAN      20.07         10        
    2 Koffi , Hua Wilfried             CIV      20.35          6        
    3 Hortelano , Bruno                ESP      20.36          4        
    4 Herrera , José Carlos            MEX      20.55          3        
    5 Mohammed , Abdullah Abkar        KSA      20.93          2        
    6 Ouhadi , Aziz                    MAR      20.96          1        
    7 Smellie , Gavin                  CAN      20.97                   
    8 Griffith , Adrian                BAH      21.32

Women’s 400 Hurdles: Janieve Russell PRs to Win
22-year-old Janieve Russell of Jamaica, who was 5th at Worlds last year, came in as the top seed and #3 performer in the world at 54.61 and she improved on that and ran a stellar 54.16, a new pb (her pb was 54.61) that moves her to #2 in the world.

We predict that Russell will go faster as she chopped her steps a lot on the last hurdle but still won easily as she led from start to finish. American Cassandra Tate, the bronze medallist in Beijing last year, moved up late to nab second in a new seasonal best of 54.69 (previous sb was 55.57).

After the race, Russell said she wasn’t “concentrating on running a fast time” – she just wanted to win, but added that the windy weather didn’t bother her as it’s the kind of weather she’s used to in Jamaica.

    1 Russell , Janieve                JAM      54.16         10        
    2 Tate , Cassandra                 USA      54.69          6        
    3 Nel , Wenda                      RSA      54.88          4        
    4 Titimets , Anna                  UKR      55.10          3        
    5 Adekoya , Oluwakemi              BRN      55.33          2        
    6 Ankiewicz , Emilia               POL      57.25          1        
      Lambarki , Hayat                 MAR        DNS                   


Men’s High Jump: 2013 World Champ Bohdan Bondarenko Wins It
The Ukrainian Bondarenko followed up his win in Shanghai last weekend with another victory in Rabat tonight, defeating a quality field as he was the only man to clear 2.31m. Erik Kynard, who won the DL opener in Doha, looked good as he cleared every height through 2.28 on his first attempt, but he missed all three of his tries at 2.31, relegating him to second. World Indoor champ Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy really struggled as it took him three attempts to clear 2.25; he would not clear another height, settling for sixth.

    1 Bondarenko , Bohdan              UKR       2.31         10        
    2 Kynard , Erik                    USA       2.28          6        
    3 Baniótis , Konstadínos           GRE       2.25          4        
    3 Rivera , Edgar                   MEX       2.25          4        
    5 Grabarz , Robert                 GBR       2.25          2        
    6 Tamberi , Gianmarco              ITA       2.25          1        
    7 Fassinotti , Marco               ITA       2.20                   
    8 Bába , Jaroslav                  CZE       2.20                   
    9 Thomas , Donald                  BAH       2.20
      Nabokau , Dzmitry                BLR         NM

Men’s Long Jump: South Africa’s Rushwal Samaai Takes Down Australian WC Silver Medallist Fabrice Lapierre
24-year-old Rushwal Samaai of South Africa, coming in the world’s second longest jumper on the year at 8.34m, was the best man today as he won with in a new pb of 8.38m (27′ 6″). He needed to PR as the runner-up was Aussie Fabrice Lapierre, the silver medallist at Worlds last year, in 8.36m.

2016 world leader and Buffalo Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin, who jumped 8.45m last week, was third in 8.11m. We loved his outfit though.

Screenshot (875) At last, a clever top for a track athlete.

“This is the best competition that I have ever been in. Everything was amazing, the new track is also very good. My technique worked well and my run up is getting better,” said Samaai after the competition.

    1 Samaai , Rushwal                 RSA       8.38         10              +0.8
    2 Lapierre , Fabrice               AUS       8.36          6              +5.2
    3 Goodwin , Marquise               USA       8.11          4              +0.8
    4 Bramble , Daniel                 GBR       8.00          3              +1.4
    5 Lasa , Emiliano                  URU       7.95          2              +0.6
    6 Smith , Tyrone                   BER       7.90          1              +0.5
    7 da Silva , Mauro Vinicius        BRA       7.87                         +3.8
    8 Khoua , Mouhcine                 MAR       7.80                         +0.7
    9 Cáceres , Eusebio                ESP       7.73      +1.9
   10 Jaszczuk , Tomasz                POL       7.67      +0.4

Women’s Triple Jump: Ibarguen Wins Her 33rd In A Row
Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen extended her win streak to 33 (she hasn’t lost since the 2012 Olympics) with a 14.51 mark (47′ 7¼”). In Doha, Ibarguen was pushed to a 15.04 by World Indoor champ Yulimar Rojas, who jumped 14.79, but Rojas only managed a 14.11 today which got her 4th. Ibarguen’s 14.38 1st-round mark was better than what anyone else in the field put up as indoor bronze medallist Paraskeví Papachrístou of Greece was second in 14.28.

    1 Ibargüen , Caterine              COL      14.51         10              -0.4
    2 Papahrístou , Paraskeví          GRE      14.28          6              -0.4
    3 Mamona , Patrícia                POR      14.13          4              -0.5
    4 Rojas , Yulimar                  VEN      14.11          3              -0.6
    5 Costa , Susana                   POR      13.90          2              +3.5
    6 Ptashkina , Tetyana              UKR      13.33          1              -1.5
    7 Mbumi Nkouindjin , Joelle SandrinCMR      13.24                         +1.4

Women’s Pole Vault: Ekaterini Stefanidi Wins in a PB
Greece’s Ekateríni Stefanídi, the World Indoor bronze medallist, got the win in a new pb of 4.75m (15′ 7″, previous pb of 4.73m). She had no misses up to that point but failed to get over 4.80m. The runner-up was Swiss national record holder Nicole Büchler.

    1 Stefanídi , Ekateríni            GRE       4.75         10        
    2 Büchler , Nicole                 SUI       4.70          6        
    3 Silva , Yarisley                 CUB       4.50          4        
    4 Kyriakopoúlou , Nikoléta         GRE       4.50          3        
    5 Ryzih , Lisa                     GER       4.50          2        
    6 Kramer , Regine                  GER       4.30          1


Men’s Discus: World Champ Piotr Malachowski Leads a Polish 1-2
Malachowski took the lead in the third round with a throw of 65.91 and bettered that twice, going 66.88 in round four and 67.45 in round six. Though the wind presented a challenge, it was still good enough for his second DL win in the year, following up on his victory in Doha.

“Wind is very difficult for the discus throw,” Malachowski told the IAAF. “I had to change my way of throwing but still the result is not bad at all.”

    1 Malachowski , Piotr              POL      67.45         10        
    2 Urbanek , Robert                 POL      65.04          6        
    3 Kövágó , Zoltán                  HUN      64.42          4        
    4 Milanov , Philip                 BEL      63.74          3        
    5 Parellis , Apostolos             CYP      63.46          2        
    6 Kupper , Martin                  EST      63.13          1        
    7 Ståhl , Daniel                   SWE      61.09                   
    8 Kanter , Gerd                    EST      60.70

Women’s Shot Put: Valerie Adams Dominates
Two-time Olympic champ Valerie Adams grabbed her first Diamond League victory of 2016 (and 24th overall) by launching her fifth throw 19.68 meters. All six of her throws would have won the competition; five of six were 19.20m or farther. Adams has now won all four of her competitions outdoors, improving her winning mark each time (though she was only third at World Indoors):

February 23 (Auckland): 18.85m
March 6 (Dunedin): 19.43m
May 7 (Zug): 19.52m
May 22 (Rabat): 19.68m

    1 Adams , Valerie                  NZL      19.68         10        
    2 Márton , Anita                   HUN      18.51          6        
    3 Smith , Brittany                 USA      17.84          4        
    4 Guba , Paulina                   POL      17.74          3        
    5 Abramchuk , Alena                BLR      17.53          2        
    6 Ducó , Natalia                   CHI      17.21          1        
    7 Dongmo , Auriole                 CMR      16.81

Women’s Javelin: Latvia’s Madara Palameika Takes It
Palameika fouled her final two throws, but her 64.76-meter effort in the third round was enough as Estonia’s Liina Laasma set a national record of 63.65 in second.

    1 Palameika , Madara               LAT      64.76         10        
    2 Laasma , Liina                   EST      63.65          6        
    3 Mitchell , Kathryn               AUS      60.68          4        
    4 Muze , Lina                      LAT      59.54          3        
    5 Ratej , Martina                  SLO      59.39          2        
    6 Hjálmsdóttir , Ásdís             ISL      57.02          1        
    7 Hatsko-Fedusova , Hanna          UKR      55.72                   
    8 Jelaca , Tatjana                 SRB      46.61

Talk about the meet on our fan forum / messageaboard: MB: The Diamond League goes to Africa – Official 2016 Rabat Discussion Thread.


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