Flying Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers fired a warning shot at potential Olympic rivals with a crushing win in the 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo on Thursday.
The world champion ran a fast bend and hit the back straight ahead of in-form Jamaican Elaine Thompson, in her outside lane, in chilly conditions at Bislett Stadium.
Schippers, the 2014 European double sprint champion, clocked 21.93 seconds, with world silver medalist Thompson second in 22.64 seconds.
“To run under 22 seconds in these conditions is very special for me,” said the Dutchwoman, who set the Beijing world championships alight last year with victory in a third-fastest time ever of 21.63 seconds. “The curve here is excellent, but I must admit that the last 50m were very tough. After all the Diamond Leagues, I need to rest and train a little bit before the [July 6-10] European Championships in my country. No more races until then.”
Canada’s Andre De Grasse was almost handed a shock in the 100m by 40-year-old Kim Collins, who blasted out of the blocks and was leading through 60m, before pulling up in agony with a left hamstring injury.
De Grasse, world bronze medalist last year in Beijing, powered past the stranded St Kitts and Nevis veteran to win in 10.07 seconds ahead of Americans Michael Rodgers (10.09) and Dentarius Locke (10.12).
“I’m pretty happy with the race,” said the Canadian, 21. “I ran my season best as I wanted.”
Collins later said on Twitter: “Really sorry for the disappointment. Terrible cramp in my left groin. #recovery thanks to all.”
Asbel Kiprop, triple world champion, 2008 Olympic champion and current world lead in the 1,500m, produced the goods to kick out on his own to win a fifth fabled Dream Mile title in 3 minutes, 51.48 seconds.
Kiprop, who was awarded the Olympic gold for the 1,500m after the original winner, Moroccan-born Bahraini Rashid Ramzi, tested positive for doping, finished ahead of current world No. 2 and world silver medalist, fellow countryman Elijah Motonei Manangoi, while current Olympic 1,500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria rounded out the podium.
“I wanted to run fast, but the weather changed. It became too chilly, but I tried my best,” Kiprop said. “I’m very satisfied with the season so far and my plan continues... We now head to Olympic trials and then the Games.”
There was also a fourth meeting win for French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, whose 5.8m trumped the 5.73m effort of Canada’s world champion, Shawn Barber.
“It was very tough in these conditions, but I’m pretty satisfied — it’s a win,” the Olympic champion said.
American Briana Rollins, world champion in 2013, won the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.56 seconds, ahead of compatriots Dawn Harper-Nelson and Jasmin Stowers.
Australia’s reigning Olympic champion, Sally Pearson, struggled home in last place (13.14).
Two-time world medalist Hagos Gebrhiwet claimed the 5,000m in 13 minutes, 7.7 seconds in an Ethiopian podium sweep that could well send shivers down the spine of two-time defending Olympic champion and three-time world champ Mo Farah.
“I beat all other candidates for Olympics in our team today, but the time was not good,” said Gebrhiwet, who won world silver in 2013 and bronze last year. “In Ethiopia, we don’t have trials, but go by times, so I’ll go to Stockholm next week to try to confirm my Olympic selection.”
Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic, with 67.10m, won the women’s discus, her third consecutive victory in Oslo.
Two reigning world champions also claimed victories: American Joe Kovacs in the men’s shot (22.01m) and Kenyan Hyvin Kiyeng in the women’s 300m steeplechase (9:09.57).
However, Kiyeng’s teammate Nicholas Bett, the shock world 400m hurdles champion in Beijing last year, could only finish sixth in a race won by Cuban-born Turk Yasmani Copello from lane one in a season’s best 48.79 seconds.
Almost simultaneously, another Copello, Alexis — unrelated and still competing for Cuba — claimed victory in the men’s triple jump, his best of 16.91m just seeing off France’s world indoor record holder Teddy Tamgho (16.80).
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