Diamond League’s New Stars




Usain Bolt - Diamond League

Usain Bolt – Diamond League

At a Diamond League meet, Usain Bolt set the quickest time in the world this season as he eased to victory in the 200 meters while Caster Semenya also set her best time of the year but could only finish third behind Halima Hachlaf in the 800 meters,

The Jamaican world record holder raced through the rain at the Bislett Games to win convincingly in 19.86 seconds. Norwegian Jaysuma Saidy Ndure was second in 20.43, while Mario Forsythe of Jamaica was in the third in 20.49.

Bolt very pleased with a time that went some way to answering his critics as he polishes his technique for this year’s worlds in South Korea, which run from Aug. 27. “I was never really out of business,” Bolt said after the race. “Business was just a bit slow.”

The world and Olympic champion was unperturbed by the downpour that fell as the race began and never looked under any real pressure from the rest of the field. “I always seem to compete best when it’s raining,” Bolt said. “I’m happy – I’m back to being Usain Bolt. Not perfect, but I think I’m getting there.”

In the women’s 800, Hachlaf of Morocco also set a record time to hold off Russia’s Mariya Savinova and Semenya of South Africa.

Hachlaf crossed the finishing line in 1:58.27 seconds, with Savinova second with 1:58.44 seconds, which was well ahead of Semenya’s 1:58.61.

Semenya is battling to revive her form after having to undergo a gender test following her victory in the 800 at the 2009 worlds. The time was her best of the year so far as she strives to reach her peak in time for South Korea.

“I’m just three seconds away from my best,” she told The Associated Press after the race. “I’m happy with the time today,” Semenya said. “Now I just need to go back and work on it more” 1:57 is what I’m planning for the next races.”

Norway’s Christina Vukicevic held on to an early lead to take the 100-meter hurdles in 12.79.

Kenyan man Paul Kipsiele Koech succeeded in 3000 steeplechase to set the best time of the season in a track record 8:01.83. Compatriot Nicholas Kiptanui Kemboi took the 1,500 in 3:37.25, his best time of the season, a feat equaled by Arles Merritt of the United States only.

World championship silver medalist Kyriakos Ioannou of Cyprus won in the high jump with a leap of 2.28, while Olympic champion Gerd Kanter won the discus with a throw of 65.14.

Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria excelled in the women’s 100, sprinting, while Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic took the 400 hurdles race. Cuban triple jumper Yargelis Savigne got victory with a jump of 14.81, while New Zealander Valerie Adams won the shot put with a throw of 20.26, and Fabiana Murer of Brazil jumped 4.60 to win the pole vault.

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