US sprint hurdler Kristi Castlin (© Randy Miyazaki)
The final day of action at the 105th HyVee Drake Relays in Des Moines, USA, saw Kristin Castlin end Brianna Rollins' winning streak, which stretched back to the 2012 US Olympic Trials, on Saturday (26).
Rollins had won 35 races in succession across a range of individual events, including heats, since July 2012. But in Des Moines Castlin won by just 0.005, with the pair timed at 12.571 and 12.576 respectively.
“I was surprised,” said Castlin after her world-leading run. “This is my first race of the season. I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder being in lane eight. I had to execute my best race since I was out there on my own.”
In a thrilling race of tremendous depth, Kellie Wells was third in 12.68 with Queen Harrison fourth in 12.70 and Great Britain’s Tiffany Porter fifth in 12.71.
The women’s 400m hurdles saw Tiffany Ross-Williams win in 55.53 with Jamaica’s Nickiesha Wilson second in 55.68 and former world champion Lashinda Demus crossing the line third in 55.97.
Renaud Lavillenie kept his 2014 unbeaten streak alive, but only just, as the pole vault world record-holder won with a relatively modest 5.70m to take the verdict on count-back against Great Britain’s Steve Lewis, who cleared the same height.
US high jump record-holder Chaunte Lowe made an impressive return to action in her first major competition for almost two years, after taking a break due to pregnancy, by going over 1.96m.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” said Lowe. “It was a coin toss. I have been training really, really hard, but I hadn’t had any great competitions up to this point. I had two small ones just to see where my steps were. This week I came and jumped at Hy-Vee, that was exciting. To come out here and take the win made me feel like I still have the juice. The last real competition I had was in Belgium in 2012 right after the Olympic Games.”
Inika McPherson finished second with a personal best of 1.96m but more failures than Lowe. St Lucia's Levern Spencer, USA’s Olympic Games and World Championships medallist Brigetta Barrett and Spain’s European champion Ruth Beitia were third, fourth and fifth respectively, all three women getting over 1.93m.
Ethiopia’s Aman Wote won the mile in an impressive 3:53.39, winning by approximately 60 metres.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF