World-leading performances by Magnus Kirt and Mariya Lasitskene and a world best in the 300m by Shaunae Miller-Uibo were the among the standout performances at the 58th edition of the Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic, an IAAF World Challenge Meeting, on Thursday (20).
Kirt joins 90m club
Kirt produced the season's first 90-metre javelin throw in a lopsided competition the Estonian won by nearly seven metres. After a modest 81.65m opener, the 29-year-old unleashed a 90.34m bomb in the second round, sealing the victory with his first career 90-metre effort. It was a personal best by 59cm and a national record.
Pole Cyprian Mrzyglod, the European U20 champion in 2017, improved his PB to 83.88m to finish second.
Lasitskene tops 2.06 for the second time
In the high jump, authorised neutral athlete Mariya Lasitskene continued her fine momentum, topping 2.06m for the second time in her career. Only four women have ever jumped higher.
Perfect through 1.96m, Lasitskene needed a second go at 1.98m before sailing clear. She followed with first attempt success at 2.00m and 2.03m, the latter adding a centimetre to her own world lead. She then topped 2.06m cleanly with her second attempt to equal the career best she set in 2017. Nobody has jumped as high since. Lasitskene then had the bar raised to a would-be world record height of 2.10m; her first attempt suggested an eventual clearance isn't that far away.
Twenty year-old Karina Taranda of Belarus, last year's world U20 champion, improved her personal best by two centimetres to 1.98m to finish second.
On the track, Miller-Uibo's assault on the world best over the rarely contested 300m distance went off as expected, the Bahamian entering the straight with a clear lead, one she padded through the finish to clock 34.41, smashing the previous best of 35.30 Ana Guevara set at altitude in Mexico City in 2003. This performance, coupled with an early season 49.05 world lead in the 400m, indicates the 25-year-old is probably in the best shape of her career.
Brittany Brown of the US was a distant second in 35.91.
De Grasse edges Coleman in 200m
A torrential downpour late in the meet postponed the start of the evening-capping 200m, but didn't dampen the performances that much. As expected, Christian Coleman, the 100m world leader, got off to a strong start, an early assault that caught up with him with about 50 metres to go. Over the final 10 metres, Andre De Grasse caught him as well, nipping him at the line in 19.91, a season's best, 0.06 clear of the American who was making his 2019 debut over the distance. Further back, South African Clarence Munyai was third in 20.31, also a season's best.
Just over an hour earlier, De Grasse was edged in the 100m by a scant 0.01 by Mike Rodgers who clocked 10.04. In a blanket finish, China's Xie Zhenye was third, another 0.01 back.
The 400m was anything but close, with Steven Gardiner prevailing in 44.95, nearly a second ahead of Bahrain's Abbas Abubaker, who clocked 45.86.
Meeting records for Kendricks and Walsh
World champion Sam Kendricks increased his unbeaten streak to six with a dominating victory in the pole vault. The Olympic silver medallist cleared 5.93m on his second jump, watching the bar bounce on the pegs but stay on as he fell back to earth. That added a centimetre to the meeting record set by world record holder Renaud Lavillenie in 2013.
Pole Piotr Lisek took second at 5.71m on countback over Augusto Dutra of Brazil, Pawel Wojciechowski of Poland and Frenchman Valentin Lavillenie.
Two-time world champion Tom Walsh dominated the shot put, collecting the win with a 22.27m toss in the second round to improve his season's best by nine centimetres. He underscored his improving form with a 22.19m toss in round three.
Pole Michal Haratyk was second at 21.77m with Czech Tomas Stanek third with 21.04m.
While the rain and wind that descended on the eastern Czech city impacted much of the late-meet programme, the men's long jumpers were affected the most, with the competition halted before the sixth round concluded. Juan Miguel Echevarria coped best, reaching 8.32m in the second round. Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece was second at 7.95m.
Another hammer throw challenge win for Wang
Asian champion Wang Zheng opened the main programme with a 75.80m season's best in the fourth round to win the women's hammer throw, part of the IAAF World Hammer Challenge. The effort elevated the 31-year-old Chinese up a notch to third on the season's world list.
US record holder Gwen Berry, the winner in Chorzow four days ago, opened with 74.38m, a throw that held up for second. Alexandra Tavernier of France was third with 73.36m. World record holder Anita Wlodarczyk pulled out of the competition with back pain.
In her first competition in 22 months, Olympic javelin champion Sara Kolak of Croatia produced one decent effort of 64.45m, good enough to take the victory. Slovenia's Martina Ratej was second with 61.01m.
Middle distance wins for Gudaf and Grice
In the women's 1500m, meeting record holder Tsegay Gudaf pulled away to a big lead over the final lap and held on, winning in 4:02.95. Sarah McDonald of Great Britain closed well to finish second in 4:03.79.
Similarly, Kenyan Michael Kibet scampered off to a significant lead of his own in the men's mile, but was caught in the final strides by another Briton, 2016 Olympic 1500m finalist Charlie Da'vall Grice, who nabbed the win by 0.06 in 3:56.95.
Earlier on the programme, Amel Tuka prevailed in the 800m in a season's best 1:44.95 with Adam Kszczot second in 1:45.63.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF