ATHLETICS Panorama: More world leaders at Asian Champs; Drake and Penn Relays this weekend

100 m Hurdles world-record holder Keni Harrison (USA)

A lot going on everywhere around the world in track & field:

Doha: Four golds for Salwa Eid Naser at Asian Champs in Doha

The Asian Championships finished in Doha (QAT) with Salwa Eid Naser (BRN) collecting four golds, including a 200/400 double and a come-from-behind anchor win in the 4×400 m relay.

After taking the 400 m earlier in 51.34, she ran a lifetime best 22.74 to win the 200 m on the final day (Wednesday). She then took the baton in fourth place in the 4×400 m, but after a sizzling 49.70 anchor, Bahrain came home first in 3:32.10.

She had previously run on the winning mixed 4×400 relay and anchored the bronze-medal-winning 4×100 m relay.

China’s Wenjun Xie won the 110 m hurdles in a lifetime best of 13.21, a new world leader and his first personal best since 2014. Syria’s Majd Eddin Glazal won the high jump at 2.31 m (7-7), equaling the outdoor world lead by Michael Mason (CAN).

It probably won’t last the weekend, but China took the world lead in the women’s 4×100 m at the Asian Champs in Doha, running 42.87 with a team of Xiaojing Liang, Yongli Wei, Lingwei Kong and Manqi Ge.

China’s Ling Li won her third Asian title in the pole vault at 4.61 m (15-1 1/2). Complete results are here.

Des Moines: 110th Drake Relays has Kendricks, Crouser, Harrison and more

Thanks to sponsorship from the Iowa-based Hy-Vee market chain, the Drake Relays has now become an early-season showcase for American, Canadian and Caribbean stars, but always suffers from lousy weather.

So, for this Saturday’s invitational events, the conditions will be marginal, with a high of 61 degrees (F) and rain in the early morning hours, then tapering off during the day. But the fields are pretty good:

Men/200 m: A match up of 2007-09 Worlds bronze medalist Wallace Spearmon (20.64 in 2018) and 2018 U.S. Nationals champion Ameer Webb (20.13 in 2018).

Men/110 m Hurdles: The 2016 Rio Olympic champ – and 2015-16-17 Drake winner – Omar McLeod (JAM: 13.01 in 2018) and Americans Devon Allen (13.23 in 2018), Aleec Harris (2017 national champ; 13.37 last year) and Freddie Crittenden (13.27 in 2018).

Men/400 m Hurdles: The 20178 national champ, Kenny Selmon (48.12 in 2018) takes on Michael Stigler 48.26 in 2017) and Jeffery Gibson (BAH: 48.98 in 2018).

Men/Pole Vault: The reigning World Champion, Sam Kendricks (USA: 5.93 m19-5 1/2 indoor in 2019) opens up outdoors against the world leader, Chris Nilsen of the U.S. (5.91 m: 5.82 m/19-1).

Men/Shot Put: What will Ryan Crouser do now? Last week in Long Beach, California, he exploded for the two longest throws since 1990: 22.73 m (74-7) and 22.74 m (74-7 1/4) … and it’s April! He will have some competition, however, from emerging star Payton Otterdahl of North Dakota State, who has reached 21.81 m (71-6 3/4) indoors this year and won the NCAA Indoor title.

Women/110 m Hurdles: This could be the race of the meet. World-record holder Keni Harrison, the 2016-17-18 Drake Relays winner, opened with a world-leading 12.63 at the Mt. SAC Relays last week. She will have her hands full with Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PUR: 12.40 in 2017), Rio 2016 silver medalist Nia Ali (12.99 already in 2019), Cindy Ofili (GBR: 12.92 in 2017) and Tobi Amusan (NGR: 12.68 in 2018).

Women/400 m Hurdles: Rio bronze medalist Ashley Spencer (54.66 last year) and 2017 World Champion Kori Carter (52.95 in 2017) take on 2017-18 Drake winner Georganne Moline (53.90 in 2018).

Women/Pole Vault: Another in the long line of face-offs between 2012 Olympic champ Jenn Suhr – the world leader at 4.91 m (16-1 1/4) – and Sandi Morris, the 2018 World Indoor Champion. Morris is returning from ankle surgery last October and will vault competitively for the first time since last September.

There will, in addition, be the normal horde of relay races and college events. The USATF One Mile road-race championship races were held on Tuesday, with Tripp Hurt winning the men’s event in 4:04.21 and Nikki Hiltz taking the women’s title in 4:30:09.

NBCSN will have coverage from Des Moines at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. Look for results here.

Philadelphia: 125th Penn Relays features “USA vs. the World” relays

The “USA vs. the World” relay program will be one of the highlights of the best-attended meet in the U.S., the Penn Relays.

The driving force in this meet is the high school competition, but among the professionals, the relays will be the highlight.

There are two U.S. and two Jamaican teams in the men’s and women’s 4×100 m, and two American and one Jamaican team in the 4×400 m. There is also a Sprint Medley (100-100-200-400) for women and a different Sprint Medley (200-200-400-800) for men.

Saturday’s temperatures will be in the 60s, dry, but with considerable wind. NBCSN will have coverage on Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern and on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. Look for results here.

Lana: Roe back for a repeat at 32nd Multistars?

Fans of multi-events welcome the first IAAF Combined Events Challenge meet of 2019, the 32nd annual Multistars in Italy. A total of 64 athletes are entered, with the top scorers including:

Men:
8,335 ‘17 Adam Helcelet (CZE)
8,315 ‘16 Luiz Alberto De Araujo (BRA)
8,304 ‘18 Mathias Bruger (GER)
8,229 ‘18 Tim Nowak (GER)
8,228 ‘18 Martin Roe (NOR)
8,187 ‘17 Jefferson dos Santos (BRA)
8,067 ‘18 Jan Dolezal (CZE)

Women:
6,330 ‘17 Caroline Agnou (SUI)
6,188 ‘16 Vanessa Chefer Spinola (BRA)
6,144 ‘18 Allison Reaser (USA)
6,038 ‘18 Annie Kunz (ITA)
6,015 ‘18 Diana Marie-Hardy (FRA)

Norway’s Roe scored his lifetime best of 8,228 to win the Multistars last year; the Hep was won by American Erica Bougard (6,327). Look for results here.