The Kenny Bednarek story just keeps getting better. After running an astonishing – but very wind-aided – 19.49 in the prelims of the 200 m at the National Junior College Championships in New Mexico, he came back on the final day to win the 400 m in 44.73 and then took the 200 m in 19.82 into a 0.8 m/s headwind!
All of these marks are altitude-aided (+1,105 m), but fast is fast!
He’s only the second man to run sub-20 and sub-45 on the same day; Botswana’s Isaac Makwala did it twice, in 2014 and again in 2017. That’s pretty good company.
Bednarek is a freshman at Indian Hills CC in Iowa; you see the 200 m race here. His competition from the Friday prelims, soph Terrance Laird (Hinds CC: 19.64w) did not run in the finals on Saturday.
The Seiko Golden Grand Prix, an IAAF World Challenge Series meet, held on Sunday in Osaka (JPN) had a bevy of American stars, led by Michael Norman, who won the 200 m in 19.84, also into a headwind of 0.4 m/s.
Another the other highlights, Justin Gatlin (USA) just edged Japan’s Yoshihide Kiryu, 10.00-10.01 in the men’s 100, and Vernon Norwood (USA) won the 400 m easily in 45.79. American triple jumper Omar Craddock won with a leap of 17.16 m (56-3 3/4), also into a slight headwind.
The U.S. had three winners on the women’s side, starting with Mikiah Brisco in the 100 m (11.33) into a 2.2 m/s headwind; Sharika Nelvis beat Sally Pearson (AUS) in the 100 m hurdles as both were timed in 12.70, and Dalilah Muhammad looked great in winning the 400 m hurdles in 53.88, the no. 2 mark in the world this season, behind only her own 53.61 from the Doha Diamond League meet.
China’s Zheng Wang won a tense battle in the women’s hammer over Americans Gwen Berry and DeAnna Price, 75.27 m (246-11) to 74.09 m (243-1) to 72.92 m (239-3).
Another world leader came in the Elite de la Grande Caraibe meet in Baie-Mahault (FRA) on Saturday, with American Keni Harrison winning the 100 m hurdles in 12.47 (wind 0.0).
There was also some good triple jumping from Will Claye (USA), who won over Chris Benard, 17.40 m (57-1) to 16.94 m (55-7). Byron Robinson of the U.S. won a photo finish in the 400 m hurdles over Kyron McMaster (IVB), with both timed in 49.37.
There was a surprise in the women’s long jump with American Keturah Orji – the former American Record holder in the triple jump – beating four-time World Champion Brittney Reese: 6.80 m (22-3 3/4) to 6.73 m (22-1).
One of the shocks of the Shanghai Diamond League meet was American Chase Ealey’s win in the women’s shot over China’s reigning World Champion Lijiao Gong.
Sure, she had improved from 18.46 m (60-6 3/4) in 2016 to a world-leading 19.67 m (64-6 1./2) this season, but beating Gong in China? What happened? Said Ealey after the win:
“To compete against Lijiao Gong was actually a little nerve-wracking because I have looked up to her for so long. My series wasn’t so good today but I’m pleased with my distance (for the winning throw). I’ve changed coaches (to former World Indoor champ Ryan Whiting) and changed to the rotational technique ten months ago and I feel that has made the difference.”
It sure has!