With the IAAF World Championships so late in the season, the European season has been especially busy with competitions, and excellent results. At the annual Istvan Gyulai Memorial – named for the former IAAF Secretary-General – in Szekesfehervar (HUN), there were multiple marks of note:
● Russia’s Ilya Ivanyuk won the men’s high jump with a lifetime best and outdoor world-leading mark of 2.33 m (7-7 3/4)..
● American Clarence Coleman won the 200 m in a dominating 19.91 (+0.6), way ahead of reigning World Champion Ramil Guliyev (TUR: 20.23) and Aaron Brown of Canada (20.24).
● Steven Gardiner (BAH) won the 400 m in a strong 44.45, easily defeating Tyrell Richard (45.59) and Vernon Norwood of the U.S. (45.62).
● Grant Holloway opened his professional career with a win in the 110 m hurdles in 13.16 (+0.8), beating Gabriel Constantino (BRA: 13.18).
● Olympic and World Champion Christian Taylor of the U.S. showed that he is going to be hard to dislodge in Doha. In a revealing preview of the Worlds, Taylor soared to 17.93m (58-10w) and had a back-up jump of 17.68 m (58-0 1/4) to take the triple jump ahead of Will Claye (17.66 m/57-11 1/4) and Portugal’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo (17.29 m/56-8 3/4). Wow!
● Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) won the 200 m in 22.18, equal-5th on the 2019 world list, beating Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV: 22.76) in the process.
● Keni Harrison won what was essentially a preview of the USATF Champs in the 100 m hurdles, running 12.60 (+0.8), ahead of Nia Ali (12.63), Sharika Nelvis (12.66), Christina Clemons (12.73) and Queen Claye (formerly Queen Harrison, 12.81).
The next Diamond League meet is in Monaco on Friday; preview coming soon!
In doping news, the Athletics Integrity Unit filed a provisional suspension against Kenyan marathoner Joyce Chepkirui (2:24:11 in 2015), the winner of the 2015 Amsterdam and Honolulu Marathons and third and fourth at Boston and New York in 2016.
She’s 30 and was suspended for “evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection.” She hasn’t run competitively since last December.
The IAAF approved the applications of 37 athletes to compete internationally, all but two are for the European U-20 Championships and the European Youth Festival. Thus far for 2019, the IAAF’s panel has received 314 applications, approved 117 and rejected 40; the other 157 are in process.
Another amazing performance from 44-year-old Bernard Lagat, who completed his second career marathon at Gold Coast (AUS), finishing seventh in 2:12:10 on 7 July. That now only lowered his lifetime best by 5:10 from his debut marathon in 2018 (New York), but is a U.S. age-40+ record as well.
He’s closing in on the Olympic Marathon qualifying standard of 2:11:30; it will be interesting to see if he tries for that in a fall marathon on a super-flat course such as Berlin!
Niger’s Amina Seyni shocked a lot of observers with her national record of 49.19 in the Lausanne Diamond League meet, battling Salwa Eid Naser (BRN: 49.17) right to the tape.
And there could be a lot more coming from Seyni. Athletics International reported a comment from statistician P.J. Vazel that Seyni’s last 100 m in Lausanne was covered in 12.6, “the fastest ever recorded for that segment.”
What happens when the 22-year-old learns to run the first 300 m with better pace? After the race, she said, “the tight duel with Naser has helped me a lot to push my limits till the very end of the race. With this improvement, it is clear that my objective in Doha is to get in the final and even on the podium.”