US sprinter Michael Norman (© Getty Images)
Meeting records were set in the men’s 100m, shot put and 1500m at the Atletica Mondiale meeting, a Continental Tour Bronze competition, in Padua on Sunday (5).
US 400m champion and Olympic 4x400m gold medallist Michael Norman stepped down in distance and won the men’s 100m in 9.97 (-0.5m/s), taking 0.06 off the meeting record set two years ago by Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs. It was Norman’s third consecutive sub-10-second run in the 100m after clocking a wind-assisted 9.90 in Eugene and 9.98 in Brussels.
Marvin Bracy finished second in 9.98, repeating the time he achieved in Rovereto a few days prior. Ronnie Baker, the winner here in 2016, finished third in 10.10, completing a US sweep of the top three places.
“It was a very good performance,” said Norman. “This was my last race of the season. I had a bad year and I have a lot of things to work on, but I really enjoyed coming to Padua. I love Italy.”
Olympic 4x100m silver medallist Javianne Oliver made it a US 100m double by winning the women’s event in 11.19 (-1.0m/s), edging US compatriot Sha’Carri Richardson, who clocked the same time in a photo-finish.
USA’s Josh Awotunde won an exciting men’s shot put competition. The 26-year-old, who missed out on making the Olympic team by just eight centimetres, trailed Olympic fifth-place finisher Zane Weir for most of the competition after the Italian opened with 20.63m before equalling the meeting record of 21.19m. Awotunde went into the lead with his third-round 21.22m effort, but Weir responded in the next round with a PB of 21.63m.
Awotunde saved his best for last, though, and unleashed a winning effort of 22.00m in round six to take the victory. Not only was it his first ever 22-metre throw, he also added one centimetre to the stadium record set last year by Leonardo Fabbri.
The other meeting record came in the men’s 1500m, which was won by Oceanian record-holder Stewart McSweyn. The Australian clocked 3:33.49, just two days after his victory at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels.
World silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts bounded out to 14.74m to win the women’s triple jump in what was her final test before the Wanda Diamond League final in Zurich.
“I am grateful for this good competition,” said the Jamaican. “It was a test before the Diamond League final. I’m looking forward to it, and it won’t be easy, but I will try to successfully defend my Diamond League title.”
World champion Anzhelika Sidorova won the women’s pole vault in Padua for the second time in her career, clearing 4.70m on her first attempt. She went on to unsuccessfully try 4.80m, which would have been a five-centimetre improvement on her own meeting record.
Elsewhere, Aleksandra Gulyalyeva won the women’s 800m in 1:59.57, while Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Ronald Levy claimed his second consecutive victory on Italian soil in the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.34 (-1.3m/s), five days after winning in Rovereto. Fellow Jamaican Stephenie Ann McPherson claimed her third Padua victory by winning the women’s 400m in 50.78.
Both of Italy’s Olympic 20km race walk champions, Massimo Stano and Antonella Palmisano, delighted the home crowd by winning their respective races over 2000m.
Stano clocked 7:51.91 to beat Aldo Andrei in a relatively tight finish.
“I want to thank all the athletes who competed today against me to celebrate my Olympic title, and all the spectators who came to support us,” said Stano.
Palmisano, who trains with Stano under the guidance of Patrick Parcesepe, won the women’s 2000m in 9:07.67.
“I wanted to make Italian fans emotional in front of television when I won the gold medal in Sapporo,” said Palmisano. “We achieved a big feat by winning both 20km race walks.”
Diego Sampaolo for World Athletics