ATHLETICS: Lyles edges Coleman in 9.86; six world leads in sensational Shanghai Diamond League

Just that close: Lyles nips Coleman at the tape in the Diamond League Shanghai 100 m!

This is more like it! The much-anticipated Diamond League meet in Shanghai delivered with fabulous head-to-head competition and six world-leading marks:

Men/100 m: 9.86, Noah Lyles (USA) and Christian Coleman (USA)
Men/5,000 m: 13:04.16, Yomif Kejelcha (ETH)
Men/400 m hurdles: 47.27, Abderrahmane Samba (QAT)
Men/Javelin: 87.55 m (287-3), Andreas Hofmann (GER)

Women/1,500 m: 4:01.15; Rababe Arafi (MAR)
Women/Steeple: 9:04.53, Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN)

The final event of the night was the men’s 100 m, and how could it be better than the rest of a great meet? It was.

Christian Coleman of the U.S. had the best mark of the year in both 2017 and 2018 and owns the world indoor record for 60 m, and he was off like a shot. He had a clear lead after 50 m, but the man who loves to come from behind – Noah Lyles – found that extra gear in the final 40 m and came from sixth to close at the tape and get the decision over Coleman with both timed in 9.86, fastest in the world for 2019.

Said Lyles, “I said to my coach in warm up, ‘today is the day.’ I feel hot. I knew if I got out of the blocks and if I was anywhere close, I knew I could come late for the win.” It was a lifetime best for the 21-year-old, and moves him up to equal-17th all-time, just as fast as six others, including Carl Lewis in 1991 and Ato Boldon in 1998!

“This is my first race in nine months,” said Coleman afterwards. “It is always a struggle to get in good form after such a long time away from competition, so I didn’t have any specific expectations for today’s race. In general, I am fine with 9.86 today.”

That was one of three sprint wins for the U.S., with Aleia Hobbs – running with a broken right wrist – taking over in the middle of the race and running away from Blessing Okagbare (NGR) and Rio champ Elaine Thompson, 11.03-11.07-11.14. Hobbs ran impressively at the World Relays last week and now has the no. 2 mark in the world for 2019. She was ecstatic: “This is my biggest win. I needed to start well, which I did and I managed to hang on.”

In the men’s 400 m, a hamstring injury kept favored Steven Gardiner (BAH) out, so Fred Kerley of the U.S. took over. He ran the co-fastest split at the World Relays last week – 44.4 – and charged out of the blocks and built a huge lead down the backstraight. No one could challenge, but the U.S. ended 1-2-3 with Michael Cherry and Nathan Strother following. Kerley finished in 44.81, with Cherry well back at 45.48 and Strother at 45.52.

The other U.S. win was a shocker. Chase Ealey, the world leader in the women’s shot at 19.67 m (64-6 1/2), took the lead in round two from China’s 2017 World Champion and home favorite Lijiao Gong and it held up: 19.58 m (64-3) to 19.44 m (63-9 1/2)! It was the only quality throw of the day for Ealey, while Gong produced four throws over 19 m (62-4), but the best throw counts. For the former NCAA runner-up from Oklahoma State, Ealey has gone from 18.46 m (60-6 3/4) in 2016 to the undisputed world leader in 2019!

There were more thrillers, like the long-awaited showdown between Qatar’s Abderrahmane Samba and Rai Benjamin of the U.S. in the 400 m hurdles. Benjamin fired into the lead on the back stretch and came into the final straight with the lead, but lost his cadence over the ninth hurdle and Samba got even. The Qatari then passed him and held his form best to the line for his 12th straight win, this time in 47.27. Benjamin ran 47.80, and now knows what he will face if he wants to win a world title in Doha.

Said Benjamin afterwards, “This is my first Diamond League competition in the 400 m hurdles and I am quite excited about the result today. I have not set up any specific objectives for myself since it is still in the very early stage of this season.”

In the women’s 400 m, Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser rocketed into the lead on the back straight and held her form all the way through to win in 50.65. American Sydney McLaughlin came on in the second half of the race, but had to settle for second in 50.78. Naser said “Today was just okay,” while McLaughlin was more upbeat: “I feel good today to run close to my PB.”

The distance races were fast and competitive. Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha waited until 300 m to go to charge to the front, but once he did, he was not to be headed and won in 13:04.16 – a world leader – and held off countryman Selemon Barega (13:04.71). Same for the women’s 1,500 m, where Ethiopians Gudaf Tsegay and Dawit Seyaum had the lead on the final lap, but a mass finish left favored Sifan Hassan (NED) in a box and Morocco’s Rababe Arafi finding clear running and a win in the last 50 m in a world-leading 4:01.15.

Just great! Summaries:

IAAF Diamond League
Shanghai (CHN) ~ 18 May 2019
(Full results here)


100 m (wind +0.9 m/s): 1. Noah Lyles (USA), 9.86; 2. Christian Coleman (USA), 9.86; 3. Akani Simbine (RSA), 9.95. Also: 7. Isiah Young (USA), 10.14; 8. Michael Rodgers (USA), 10.15.

200 m (non-Diamond League; 0.0): 1. Aaron Brown (CAN), 20.07; 2. Andre De Grasse (CAN), 20.21; 3. Clarence Munyai (RSA), 20. 37.

400 m: 1. Fred Kerley (USA), 44.81; 2. Michael Cherry (USA), 45.48; 3. Nathan Strother (USA), 45.52.

5,000 m: 1. Yomif Kejelcha (ETH), 13:04.16; 2. Selemon Barega (ETH), 13:04.71; 3. Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH), 13:04.83. Also:12. Paul Chelimo (USA), 13:13.94; … 16. Hassan Mead (USA), 13:23.15.

110 m hurdles (+0.7): 1. Omar McLeod (JAM), 13.12; 2. Wenjun Xie (CHN), 13.178; 3. Sergey Shubenkov (RUS), 13.28. Also: 5. Freddie Crittenden (USA), 13.36.

400 m hurdles: 1. Abderrahmane Samba (QAT), 47.27; 2. Rai Benjamin (USA), 47.80; 3. Thomas Barr (IRL), 49.41.

High Jump: 1. Yu Wang (CHN), 2.28 m (7-5 3/4); 2. Maksim Nedasekau (BLR), 2.28 m (7-5 3/4); 3. Ilya Ivanchuk (RUS), 2.28 m (7-5 3/4). Also: 4. Jeron Robinson (USA), 2.25 m (7-4 1/2).

Long Jump: 1. Tajay Gayle (JAM), 8.24 m (27-0 1/2); 2. Jianian Wang (CHN), 8.16 m (26-9 1/4); 3. Ruswahl Samaai (RSA), 8.14 m (26-8 1/2). Also: 9. Zack Basile (USA), 7.55 m (24-9 1/4).

Javelin: 1. Andreas Hofmann (GER), 87.55 m (287-3); 2. Chao-Tsun Cheng (TPE), 87.12 m (285-10); 3. Marcin Krukowski (POL), 84.51m (277-3).


100 m (+0.2): 1. Aleia Hobbs (USA), 11.03; 2. Blessing Okagbare (NGR), 11.07; 3. Elaine Thompson (JAM), 11.14. Also: 5. Jenna Prandini (USA), 11.19; … 9. Ashley Henderson (USA), 11.53.

400 m: 1. Salwa Eid Naser (BRN), 50.65; 2. Sydney McLaughlin (USA), 50.78; 3. Christine Botlogetswe (BOT), 51.29. Also: 8. Shakima Wimbley (USA), 52.69.

1,500 m: 1. Rababe Arafi (MAR), 4:01.15; 2. Gudaf Tsegay (ETH), 4:01.25; 3. Winnie Nanyondo (UGA), 4:01.39. Also: 9. Alexa Efraimson (USA), 4:04.53; … 14. Emily Lipari (USA), 4:19.94.

3,000 m Steeple: 1. Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN), 9:04.53; 2. Celliphine Chespol (KEN), 9:11.10; 3. Peruth Chemutai (UGA), 9:17.78. Also: 12. Mel Lawrence (USA), 9:44.36.

Pole Vault: 1. Katerina Stefanidi (GRE), 4.72 m (15-5 3/4); 2. Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou (GRE), 4.72 m (15-5 3/4); 3. Ling Li (CHN), 4.72 m (15-5 3/4). Also: 4. Sandi Morris (USA), 4.72 m (15-5 3/4); 5. Katie Nageotte (USA), 4.72 m (15-5 3/4); …9. Annie Rhodes-Johnigan (USA), 4.42 m (14-6).

Shot Put: 1. Chase Ealey (USA), 19.58 m (64-3); 2. Lijiao Gong (CHN), 19.44 m (63-9 1/2); 3. Aliona Dubitskaya (BLR), 18.78 m (61-7 1/2). Also: 4. Jessica Ramsey (USA), 18.61 m (61-0 3/4); … 6. Maggie Ewen (USA), 18.48 m (60-7 3/4); … 10. Daniela Hill (USA), 17.36 m (56-11 1/2).

Javelin: 1. Huihui Lyu (CHN), 66.89 m (219-5); 2. Lina Muze (LAT), 64.87 m (212-10); 3. Chrustin Hussong (GER), 64.10 m (210-4). Also: 7. Ariana Ince (USA), 60.26 m (197-8).