David Rudisha winning the 500m in Newcastle (© Mark Shearman)
Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha capped his 2016 season with a fast 500m victory to highlight the Great North CityGames in Newcastle on Saturday (10).
In his first race over the rarely-run distance, Rudisha clocked 57.69, the fastest ever recorded.
"This is my first time over the distance so it was difficult to judge," Rudisha said. "I used the other guys' experience and took it from there."
Rudisha spoke highly of the race setting which attracted some 25,000 spectators to the banks of the River Tyne.
"It has been fantastic to run here. There was less pressure on me today. It’s fantastic, it’s awesome to run in an event like this."
"To have athletics in the middle of a city is one of the greatest ideas."
Mark English, last year's winner, clocked 57.91 for second with Martyn Rooney, also of Great Britain, third in 59.02.
Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain, also an 800m specialist, won the women’s 500m in 1:06.62, also the fastest time ever recorded, according to organisers. She held off Shelayna Oskan-Clarke and Anyika Onuora who clocked 1:06.89 and 1:07.04 respectively.
"I really wanted this," said Sharp, who was sixth in the Olympic 800m final last month.
Mile wins for Muir and Wightman
Laura Muir, the world leader in the 1500m, closed her season with a victory in the road mile in 4:33.99, a few steps clear of Alison Leonard, who clocked 4:34.42. In the men’s race, Jake Wightman notched a surprise win, holding off Pole Marcin Lewandowski 4:05.70 to 4:05.98.
Exciting head-to-head battles featured in the four-lane sprint and hurdles events.
Danny Talbot defeated Richard Kilty over the rarely-run 150m distance by a scant 0.01 in 15.06. Desiree Henry clocked a European beat of 16.57 to win the women’s race over Olympic 400m finalist Natasha Hastings, who clocked 16.67.
James Dasaolu edged CJ Ujah to take the 100m, 10.21 to 10.22. South Africa’s Carina Horn of South Africa took the women’s race in 11.20, well clear of world indoor 60m champion Barbara Pierre who clocked 11.31.
David Omoregie, last weekend’s winner in Berlin, won the 110m hurdles in 13.75 with the women’s 100m hurdles win going to Jackie Coward in 12.85.
Two field events were also contested. Greg Rutherford, the 2012 Olympic champion, won the long jump with 7.66m. Regina Kramer topped 4.15m to win the women’s pole vault.
Bob Ramsak and organisers for the IAAF