Gatlin, Pichardo shining at IAAF Rome meet

Rome, June 5 (IANS) Justin Gatlin of the US won the 100 metres title, while Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba emerged as the winner of the triple jump competition at the IAAF Diamond League meet at the Olympic Stadium here.

The 34-year-old Gatlin, who clocked 9.74 seconds for the yearly best last month in Doha, sprinted 9.75 seconds in the men’s 100 metres final, the sixth fastest time in history.

Jimmy Vicaut of France and Michael Rogers of the US on Thursday posted no challenge in distance second and third places in 9.98 seconds, reports Xinhua.

Pichardo, who jumped 18.08 metres last week, smashed the Golden Gala meeting record of 17.60 metres with a 17.96 metres outing, easily winning the men’s triple jump.

Renaud Lavillenie of France, the men’s pole vault world record holder of 6.16 metres, failed to clear 6.01 metres but claimed the title with a jump of 5.91 metres.

Ruth Beitia of Spain, however, claimed a season best in the women’ s high jump at 2.00 metres, beating Blanka Vlasic of Croatia into second place. Vlasic, who cleared 2 metres more than 100 times with a personal best of 2.08 metres, jumped over 1.97 metres.

Four other season best marks were set up tonight and all came from the track events.

Yomif Kejelcha, amazingly still only 17, became the first runner to run faster than 13 minutes in the 5,000 m this year when the Ethiopian beat a strong field to win in 12:58.39 minutes.

Aman Mohammed of Ethiopia clocked 1 minute and 43.56 seconds in the men’s 800 metres. Jenny Simpson of the US coasted home in 3 minutes and 59.31 seconds to win the women’s 1500 metres. Kiyeng Hyvin of Kenya took the victory of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in 9 minutes 15.08 seconds.

Among the highlights in the evening, the men’s shot put was won by German David Storl with a toss of 21.46 metres while Russian Darya Klishina took the women’s long jump title with a 6.89 metres leap.

There were a total of 16 Diamond League events featured Thursday night.

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