Stuart Weir went to Rome, the eternal city, for the Rome Diamond League, which was held on June 9, 2022. Unfortunately, it was being held same time as NCAA Championships and African Championships.
We are posting this on June 11, two days post meet. Enjoy Stuart’s coverage.
Sandi Morris won the Pole Vault in Rome at 4.81m, photo by Diamond League AG
Golden Gala overview
After 2020 with no spectators and 2021 in Florence, it was good to see the Golden Gala back in the traditional venue, the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, on the banks of the Tiber. There was a full and varied program and some stellar performances.
Fred Kerley won the 100m in 9.92, and Kenny Bednarek took the men’s non-Diamond League 200m, clocking a season’s best of 20.01 for an American double.
Few athletes have had as much bad luck with illness and injury as Grenada’s Kirani James. It was, therefore good to see him win the 400m in 44.54
Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma won the 3000m steeplechase in 7:59.23, his third sub-8-minute run in 10 days.
Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli was certainly not the favorite for the 5000m, but he won in a world-leading 12:46.33 ahead of Yomif Kejelcha, Selemon Barega et al. It was Kimeli’s first Diamond League win.
Slovenia’s Kristjan Ceh, on the other hand, had his third Diamond League win of the year with a meeting record throw of 70.72m in the men’s discus. Joe Kovacs took the men’s shot put, throwing 21.85m.
JuVaughn Harrison won in the high jump with a season’s best of 2.27m to leave home favourite Gianmarco Tamberi still searching for his first win at the Golden Gala.
It was good to see a 3000m race walk in the program and, even better, a home win by Francesco Fortunato in 10:57.77.
The women’s 200m saw Shericka Jackson win, finishing ahead of the more highly fancied Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, and Dina-Asher-Smith. Allyson Felix was seventh in what was probably her last ever Diamond League as she pulls down the curtain on her illustrious career.
On Monday Femke Bol won the 400h in Hengelo. On Thursday. She won in Rome. Not sure what plans she has for the weekend!
Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha has won back-to-back Diamond League 1500s, but they were quite different races. Her time in Rabat was 3:57.30 and in Rome at 4:03.79,
USA’s Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu won the 800 with a world-leading 1:57.01, in a race which saw 8 sub-2-minute finishers. Another Tokyo winner to triumph in Rome was Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.37).
Sandi Morris failed to make the Olympic final in 2021 but she started 2022 with a vengeance. Having won the Birmingham DL she added the Rome title with 4.81, ahead of 2021 Olympic medalists Katie Nageotte and Holly Bradshaw, who were both delighted with a solid performance in a season that has started slowly.
Sensational news from the long jump. Malaika Mihambo did not win, and she did not jump 7 meters! The popular winner was Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk with 6.85