US sprinter Erriyon Knighton (© Getty Images)
World U20 records* were broken in men’s sprint events in two different continents just five hours apart on Saturday (30) as Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo ran 9.96 for 100m in Gaborone and Erriyon Knighton clocked 19.49 for 200m in Baton Rouge.
World U20 champion Tebogo, competing on home soil at the Gaborone International Meet – a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting – became the first man from Botswana to break 10 seconds for 100m. The smooth-striding 18-year-old pulled away from an experienced international field to win comfortably in 9.96 (1.9m/s), taking 0.01 off Trayvon Bromell’s world U20 record set back in 2014.
South African duo Benjamin Richardson and Henrico Bruintjies were next to finish, clocking 10.08 and 10.16 respectively.
Olympic 200m silver medallist Christine Mboma also impressed in the sprints in Gaborone. The Namibian teenager became the first U20 athlete to break 22 seconds for 200m and 11 seconds for 100m on the same day.
After winning the 100m in a national senior record and African U20 record of 10.97 (1.6m/s), Mboma went on to win the 200m in a world-leading 21.87 (0.6m/s).
Just a matter of hours later over at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, Knighton produced one of the fastest times in history for 200m.
The 18-year-old US sprinter, who finished fourth at this distance at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, effortlessly pulled away from the rest of the field on the bend and already had a clear lead as he entered the straight. Olympic finalist Joseph Fahnbulleh did his best to stay with Knighton in the second half, but the teenager was too far ahead and crossed the line in 19.49 (1.4m/s) with Fahnbulleh taking second place in 19.92.
Knighton wasn’t the only young sprinter to impress in Baton Rouge, though.
One week after setting a Nigerian 200m record of 21.96, Louisiana State student Favour Ofili won the women’s 100m in a PB of 10.93 (2.0m/s). Not only does it make her the fastest African teenager in history, she also moved to fifth on the senior African all-time list.
Aleia Hobbs finished second to Ofili in 11.11, while world indoor silver medallist Mikiah Brisco won the other 100m heat in a wind-assisted 10.98 (2.4m/s).
Ofili’s namesake Favour Ashe, who turned 20 two days ago, won the men’s 100m in a wind-assisted 9.79 (3.0m/s), winning comfortably from Da’Marcus Fleming (10.02).
Elsewhere in Baton Rouge, world champion Grant Holloway won the 110m hurdles in 13.34, Jenna Prandini won the women’s 200m in 22.45, and Jonathan Jones took the men’s 400m in 44.79.
*Subject to the usual ratification procedures
Muhammad and Crouser dominant at Drake Relays
World champion Dalilah Muhammad and Olympic champion Ryan Crouser were among the winners at the Drake Relays, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting, in Des Moines on Saturday (30).
Muhammad, contesting her first 400m hurdles race since August last year, finished exactly a second ahead of Olympic finalist Gianna Woodruff of Panama, winning in 53.88. Anna Cockrell, another Olympic finalist, was third in 55.09.
Crouser, meanwhile, was competing for the first time since the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22, where his two-and-a-half-year winning streak came to an end. The world record-holder took an early lead with 21.02, then extended it to 21.42m in round three before unleashing his winning throw of 21.63m in round four. Italy’s Nick Ponzio was second with 21.04m.
Olympic bronze medallist Alison Dos Santos was an equally comfortable winner of the men’s 400m hurdles. The 21-year-old Brazilian eased away from the rest of the field to win in 48.41, finishing more than a second ahead of David Kendziera (49.43).
The strong winds at Drake Stadium impacted many of the shorter sprints, but Olympic champion Hansle Parchment still emerged victorious in the men’s 110m hurdles. The Jamaican won in 13.47 (-2.5m/s) to finish 0.06 ahead of USA’s Jamal Britt.
Parchment’s fellow Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn was not so fortunate in the women’s 100m hurdles. The Puerto Rican hit the first hurdle and crashed out, leaving Tia Jones to take a narrow victory from US compatriot Tonea Marshall, 12.84 to 12.85.
Mu, McLaughlin and Allen victorious at Penn Relays
Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu produced the fourth-fastest 600m performance in history at the Penn Relays – a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting – in Philadelphia on Saturday (30).
The 19-year-old tracked world indoor champion Ajee Wilson through the first 200m, covered just outside 26 seconds, and hit the front soon after, passing through 400m in 56.69. Wilson’s challenge faded, while Mu moved up a gear and kicked hard, winning by more than a second in 1:22.74. That time moves Mu to fourth on the world all-time list behind Caster Semenya, Wilson and Ana Quirot.
Jamaica’s Natoya Goule was second in a national record of 1:24.09. USA’s Nia Akins was third in 1:25.14.
Sydney McLaughlin, racing for the first time since winning the Olympic 400m hurdles title in a world record time, was a convincing winner of the 100m hurdles. The 22-year-old stopped the clock at 12.75, the second-fastest time of her career, to win by almost half a second from Canada’s Mariam Abdul-Rashid (13.17).
Olympic finalist Devon Allen won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.11 from 2016 Olympic champion Omar McLeod (13.22).
Bromell breezes to wind-assisted 9.75 in Jacksonville
Last year’s world leader Trayvon Bromell picked up where he left off in 2021, blazing to a marginally wind-assisted 9.75 (2.1m/s) over 100m at the North Florida Collegiate Invitational in Jacksonville on Saturday (30).
The 2015 world bronze medallist won convincingly from Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse, who was second in 10.07, just 0.01 ahead of Japan’s Hakim Sani Brown. De Grasse later beat Bromell by a slender margin over 200m, 20.67 to 20.69 (1.2m/s).
Trey Cunningham produced the other stand-out performance of the meeting. The NCAA indoor champion breezed to a PB of 13.15 in the heats of the 110m hurdles, then went even quicker in the final, clocking a world-leading 13.10 (1.7m/s). Wilhem Belocian was second in 13.23, 0.05 ahead of Andrew Pozzi.
Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte became the latest member of the sub-11 club, winning the women’s 100m in a PB of 10.97 (1.3m/s). USA’s Shania Collins was second in 10.99, then later won the 200m in 22.64 (-2.3m/s).
Elsewhere in Jacksonville, Olympic finalist Britany Anderson won the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.68 and Britain’s Lina Nielsen dominated the 400m hurdles, winning in a big PB of 54.76.
US hammer thrower Brooke Andersen moved up one place on the world all-time list from fifth to fourth with her performance at the Desert Heat Classic in Tucson on Saturday (30).
The Olympic finalist opened with 74.34m, then threw a world-leading 77.98m in round two. She then followed it with a lifetime best of 79.02m, becoming just the fourth woman in history to surpass 79 metres. She completed her series with two more throws beyond 76 metres.
Two weeks after flying to a wind-assisted 9.83 at the Continental Tour Gold meeting at Mt SAC, Micah Williams won the sprint double in Tucson. The 20-year-old clocked a season’s best of 10.02 in the 100m and ran a PB of 20.35 for 200m.
In other US action, two-time world champion Joe Kovacs got his 2022 campaign off to an impressive start at the Music City Challenge in Nashville on Saturday (30).
The double Olympic silver medallist threw a world-leading 22.46m to win the shot put. His best mark came in the final round, and he had three other throws in excess of 22 metres.
US champion Jessica Ramsey won the women’s shot put with 19.24m, the second-best outdoor mark of her career.