Jairus Birech weeps as he has broken 8 minutes for the steeplechase in a race where Evan Jager stumbled and ran 8:00.45, photo by PhotoRun.net
The performances just built on each other.
We started with a battle over the 400 meters with Kirani James and Wayde Van Niekirk, who battled James down to the wire, running a NR for South Africa of 43.96.
We had a women's 100 meters, where the Jamaican Pocket Rocket, aka Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won in 10.74 over Blessing Okagbare in 10.80 and English Gardner in 10.97.
The women's 800 meters saw Eunice Sun hold on after a first lap of 56.33 and her final 1:56.99. But behind here! Cuba's Rose Marie Almanza, who ran 1:57.70, and Swizterlands' Selina Buchel, who ran 1:57.95 NR, not knowing her time until IAAF's Mark Butler told her in the mixed zone and she had to run to the screen to believe it! And Molly Ludlow, who ran a PB of 1:58.68 in fourth and Chanelle Price, who ran 1:59.10, her PB, in fifth!
In the women's 400 meter hurdles, Zuzana Henjova won, in 53.76 WL. But then, it came. Sara Slot Peterson, who ran Danish NR of 53.99 and Adekoya Oluakemi, who ran PB of 54.12!
The men's 1,500 meters had Taoufik Makhloufi, 2012 Olympic champion, fresh off a scary 2:13.08, making him numero 4 on all time list, try and hold off the Kenyan chargers, as Silas Kiplagat won in 3:30.12, Suleiman Ayanleh in 3:30.17, and Ronald Kwemoi, in 3:30.43, all went by the Olympic champion, relegating him to fourth in 3:30.50. It is a sobering thought to know that Henrik Inginbritson was 11th in 3:32.85.
An exciting 110m hurdles as Orlando Ortega battled David Oliver, with the former Cuban winning in 12.94 WL, with Oliver at 12.97, and Sergey Shubenkov at 13.06!
Some of the big surprises were because of upsets.
Renaud Lavillenie finished sixth, clearing only 5.71m, although he did try and clear 5.86m. Valerie Adams, coming back after two surgeries on her shoulders, could only muster 18.79 meters to Christine Schwanitz' 20.31m throw. This ended a 56 competition, five year winning streak for the shot put, one of the most dominating feats in sport. For Schwantiz, the victory was sweeter as she had never defeated the Kiwi star before.
Three major events to go!
A brilliantly gutty run by Evan Jager, who battled Jairus Birech through 2:37, 5:11, and then, clipped a barrier, fell, got to his feet, as Jairus went by to run 7:58. Jager held on, running 8:00.45, a new AR!
In the women's 5000 meters, Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana hit the 3000m in 8:36.5 and it was on. Swapping the lead every other lap, it was close until final lap, hit in 13:13. The final time of 14:15.92, as Genzebe Dibaba went by and opened real estate-12-15 meters over Almaz Ayana. The two athletes did not shake hands after the race. I guess that they will not be jogging together soon.
In the final event, the men's 100 meters, Asafa Powell won in 9.81. He just moved down the track as the pretenders to the crown tried to crowd him, but to no use. France's Jimmy Vicaut, fast but fragile, equalled the European record of 9.86, as Mike Rodgers finished the top three in 9.99.
A great meet, and a fantastic night of track in weather that had cooled down after threatening 100 degree temperatures!