David Rudisha beaten, Keni Harrison wins in Stockholm as Olympic Trials near
Kenyan Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha was fourth, while rising U.S. hurdles star Keni Harrison prevailed Thursday in a cold and wet Stockholm, site of the final Diamond League stop before Olympic Trials meets.
Rudisha was passed in the final straightaway by countryman Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich, France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse and Poland’s Adam Kszczot.
“I am really in good form, so I am a bit sad I can’t run far in these conditions,” Rudisha said, according to the IAAF.
Rudisha, also the reigning World champion and world-record holder, was fifth in his previous 800m race on May 14, one that was marred by a faulty starter’s gun. The Kenyan Olympic Trials are June 30-July 1.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, Harrison remained undefeated this year. She clocked 12.66 seconds, her slowest time of 2016, into a slight headwind and on that wet track.
“Conditions slowed me down a little, but I’m happy,” Harrison said, according to the IAAF.
Nia Ali and Queen Harrison, Olympic hopefuls behind Harrison, were second (12.85) and third (12.87) against a weak field in Stockholm.
The U.S. Olympic Trials are July 1-10 in Eugene, Ore., (broadcast schedule here), with the women’s 100m hurdles semifinals and final July 8. The top three will make the Olympic team.
In the Stockholm men’s 400m hurdles, the fastest American from 2015 failed to start the race. And the fastest American from 2014 failed to finish it.
Bershawn Jackson, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, was disqualified for a false start.
Michael Tinsley, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, curiously stopped with a little more than 100 meters to go but was not noticeably limping.
In their absences, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico won in 49.43 seconds. That time won’t worry American Johnny Dutch, who was not in Stockholm but owns the two fastest times in the world this year -- 48.10 and 48.36.
Dutch appears a strong favorite going into the Olympic Trials, with Jackson and Tinsley among those in the mix to finish in the top three to make the Olympic team as well.
Serbian Ivana Španović prevailed in a meeting of every 2015 World Championships medalist, plus Olympic champion Brittney Reese, in the long jump. Španović leaped 6.90 meters, which is not among the best marks this year.
Reese placed second at 6.88 meters, with countrywoman and World champion Tianna Bartoletta third at 6.68 meters, continuing her underwhelming start to 2016.
French Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie won a head-to-head with Canadian World champion Shawn Barber in the pole vault. Lavillenie cleared 5.73 meters for the victory, with Barber failing all three attempts at that height.
“It wasn’t the worst conditions I have competed in, but it was one of the worst,” Lavillenie said, according to the IAAF.
American Sam Kendricks, who beat Lavillenie and Barber on May 14, wasn’t in Stockholm but remains the top-ranked vaulter this year with a clearance of 5.92 meters.
American Christian Taylor won his 10th straight triple jump competition, according to Tilastopaja.org. Taylor, the Olympic and World champion, registered 17.59 meters, which is farther than any other man has triple jumped this year.
Taylor’s best triple jump this year was 17.76 from the Pre Classic on May 28.
U.S. Olympic hopefuls Chris Carter (16.52 meters), Chris Benard (16.39) and Omar Craddock (16.29) struggled behind Taylor in the tough conditions.
The Diamond League resumes in Monaco on July 15.