Yusneysi Santiusti dips under 1:59 for the first time in Padua (© Antonio Muzzolon/organisers)
Padua, ItalyJamaican Nesta Carter’s 10.10 100m victory and another triumph by Dayron Robles highlighted the 25th edition of the International Meeting Città di Padova on Sunday (17).
Carter showed impressive form and blasted out of the blocks with a great start and ran smoothly to the finish line to equal the mark set by US sprinter Coby Miller in 2002. Jamaica claimed a podium sweep with Michael Frater, second with 10.31 and Jacques Harvey, third with 10.35. Sprinters ran into a headwind of -1.6 m/s.
“I felt very well and I tried to execute my race. I want to improve my 9.78 PB this year,” said Carter whose next race will be in Monaco on Friday.
Cuban 110m Hurdles Olympic champion and world record holder Dayron Robles won for the third time in Padua in 13.26 into a headwind of -0.5 m/s. Robles started his international career in 2005 as a little known 18-year-old hurdler and then he scored two wins in 2006 and 2007. Robles had to fight hard to edge out Tyrone Akins of the U.S. by 0.04. This season the Cuban super star is still unbeaten - currently he's riding a 12-meet win streak - and will square off against David Oliver in Stockholm, which will be the re-match of the Paris Diamond League meeting where the Cuban beat the U.S. star in a very close race in 13.09.
“It was a normal race. It was not too bad but I am not entirely happy,” said Robles.
Fresh NCAA champion Nia Ali stormed to a solid win in the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.98 despite a headwind of -1.3, beating her compatriots Yvette Lewis (13.09) and Loreal Smith (13.11). Reigning World champion Brigitte Foster Hylton crossed the finish line in fifth place in 13.29, one spot behind Marzia Caravelli, the Italian 200m and 100m Hurdles champion, who was fourth in 13.22.
“I’m enjoying my first year in the European circuit after my NCAA title,” said Ali. “The race was pretty rough because we had a very short warm-up.” Next on her busy schedule are meets in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Lucerne and Monaco.”
It was a great evening for Cuban athletes who always find the enjoyable atmosphere of the Padua meeting inspiring. Cuban Yusneysi Santiusti headlined the 25th anniversary of the International Meeting Città di Padova with an impressive 800m PB of 1:58.92, knocking 0.08 from her previous best. Santiusti’s impressive run was warmly cheered by the Padua crowd who pushed her in the final straight. Santiusti runs for the local team Assindustria Sport Padova club which organizes the Meeting.
The Cuban, who trains for most of the year in Kenya with the group guided by Italian coach Claudio Berardelli, came to the fore this summer with impressive wins in Turin, Reims, Madrid and now Padua. She broke the two minutes barrier for the first time at the Memorial Nebiolo in Turin with 1:59.00, and clocked the third sub-2:00 of the year and has the potential to fight for a spot in the 800m final in Daegu. Russian Yuliya Tutayeva finished runner-up with 2:00.00 ahead of Molly Beckwith (2:00.07) of the U.S.
“I felt very well and I really wanted to run a fast time in front of my fans from Padua which I consider my adoptive town. I will run again in Barcelona next Friday,” said Santiusti.
Discus Throw legend Virgilius Alekna from Lithuania opened the 25th edition of in great style by producing a solid 67.05m throw in the fifth attempt in early afternoon in the old Colbacchini athletics stadium. Alekna, who is currently third in the world seasonal list with 67.88m set in Rethymno last Wednesday, backed his solid performance with two more throws over 66 metres (66.88m and 66.86m).
The Stadio Colbacchini also played host to the women’s Hammer Throw on Saturday afternoon. Amber Campbell of the U.S. threw 67.98m, enough to prevail over Italian champion Silvia Salis who produced a best release of 67.69m.
Headwind blew consistently during most of the meeting affecting the final times in sprint races. In the star-studded women’s 200m Jamaican Kerron Stewart, Olympic and World silver medallist in the 100m, cruised to a winning 23.04 (-0.8 m/s) beating her compatriot Anneisha Mclaughlin (23.16), Joanna Atkins (23.26) and Olympic 100m silver medallist Sherone Simpson (23.29).
Jamaican Lansford Spence took a very narrow win in the men’s 400m affected by a strong wind in the final straight in 46.34, edging out Olympic finalist Martyn Rooney from Great Britain by 0.02. South African Oscar Pistorius took third place with 46.65 missing his goal to set the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships in Daegu.
Brianna Glenn won the women’s Long Jump with a wind-assisted 6.69m. Latvia’s Lauma Griva finished second with 6.62m.
Khadevis Robinson, the surprise winner at this year’s Compeed Golden Gala in Rome and second at the U.S. championships, won the men’s 800m in 1:46.74. Alice Schmidt, also from the U.S., took the win in the women’s 1500m in 4:08.09, a new PB.
A strong wind prevented good results in the men’s Pole Vault where Mexico’s Giovanni Lanaro claimed his second win in Padua with 5.40m.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF