Ryan Crouser blasts a meeting record in Rabat (© Jiro Mochizuko)
Ryan Crouser cruised to his tenth straight victory in the shot put to highlight the field events action at the Meeting International Mohammed VI d'Athletisme, the tenth stop of the 2017 IAAF Diamond League, in Rabat on Sunday (16).
Loosening up with a 21.91m toss in the first round, Crouser all but sealed his win with a 22.21m effort in the second. Illustrating remarkable consistency, he followed up with 22.44m in round three and his best, 22.47m, in the final round. It was the third best toss of his career and another meeting record to add to his growing collection.
"I'm loading now (with training) so I surprised myself today," said the 24-year-old, who remains unbeaten in 2017. "I concentrated on technique today and wanted to simulate a championship competition. I think I can throw a lot further in the next few weeks."
O'Dayne Richards produced the surprise of the competition with a 21.96m effort in the third round to smash his own Jamaican record by 27 centimetres.
Ryan Whiting was a distant third at 21.26m with Konrad Bukowiecki of Poland fourth at 21.12m.
In the women's javelin throw, Barbora Spotakova won her second successive Diamond League competition, her 63.73m from the opening round surviving as the day's farthest throw. The two-time Olympic champion had only one other measured effort, a 60.45m from round five, and is already looking ahead.
"I'm in good shape and I'm looking forward to the world championships," she said.
Martina Ratej of Slovenia was second at 62.46m, edging Tatsiana Khaladovich of Belarus by just eight centimetres.
Wojciechowski collects first 2017 Diamond League win
Pawel Wojciechowski collected his second career Diamond League win topping 5.85m, his second best leap of the year.
He needed two attempts at both 5.40m and 5.60m, but took command after topping 5.70m on his first try. With Raphael Holzdeppe and Piotr Lisek bowing out at 5.75m, Wojciechowski had the bar raised to 5.85m, which he negotiated on his third try.
"This is my second Diamond League win and gives me a lot of confidence," the 2011 world champion said. "This is the first year since 2011 that I can train and compete without pain."
Holzdeppe got the nod for second over Lisek on countback.
Meanwhile, Olympic champion Thiago Braz's struggles continued. The Brazilian failed three times at his opening height of 5.40m.
South African Rushwal Samaai and Jarrion Lawson waged a back-and-fourth battle in the long jump with Samaai ultimately prevailing by just two centimetres.
The South African took command from the outset with an 8.21m leap in the first round. Lawson, the US champion, opened with 7.99m but improved to 8.33m in the second to move ahead. Samaai responded nearly in kind, improving to 8.31m. In the next round he went further still, wrestling back the lead with an 8.35m leap. Lawson concluded the competition with a pair of 8.17m efforts to settle for second.
"I'm jumping well at the moment and I'm hoping to keep in good shape and stay healthy," said Samaai, who finished fifth in Rio last summer, one spot behind Lawson. He reached an 8.49m lifetime best at altitude at home in Potchefstroom in April.
Caterine Ibarguen took control of the triple jump in round two with a 14.33m leap, and padded it in round three with a 14.51m jump, 20 centimetres ahead of Kimberly Williams of Jamaica.
And finally, Andriy Protsenko of Ukraine prevailed in a modest high jump competition, the only jumper managing to top 2.29m.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF