Richardson wins first 100m of year, Chebet smashes 10,000 world record in Eugene

Author: AFP

World champion Sha’Carri Richardson won her first 100m of the Olympic season on Saturday, clocking 10.83sec at the Eugene Diamond League where Kenyan Beatrice Chebet shattered the 10,000m world record.

Richardson, who won the world title last August in her personal-best of 10.65sec, was coming off a pair of sluggish 200m performances in China.

But she signaled her intentions for next month’s US Olympic trials with the second-fastest time of the year behind American Jacious Sears’s 10.77 in April and came out on top of a stacked field in which Jamaica’s Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Elain Thompson-Herah finished last in 11.30.

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Thompson-Herah, who has endured a rollercoaster since repeating as 100m Olympic champion in Tokyo, largely due to Achilles tendon trouble, was launching her 2024 campaign and has work to do before the Jamaican trials in June.

Richardson admitted to a few butterflies before her first 100m of the year.

“Obviously I had to be for my opener, I will not be human to say that I wasn’t nervous,” the 24-year-old said, adding that she tried to use the nervousness as motivation.”

With the win under her belt she was looking forward to “grinding, focusing, growing and getting ready for the trials,” which will be held on the same Hayward Field track June 21-30.

Chebet got things going at Hayward Field before the Diamond League events even kicked in, shattering the 10,000m world record with a time of 28min 54.14sec in a race serving as the Kenyan Olympic qualifier.

The victory, in which she improved on the previous record of 29.01.03 set by Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey in 2021, immediately stamped her a favorite in Paris, even though it was her first elite race at the distance on the track. Chebet, a two-time cross-country world champion, said she wasn’t thinking of the world record, but knew it was set up for Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay to challenge for the world mark.

She shadowed Tsegay most of the way, took the lead with a flawless late move and pulled away with ease in a majestic final lap.

Chebet said she would now target at 5,000m-10,000m double in Paris.

“For me, I am happy, to be the first time on the Olympic team,” she said. “With good health, I know I am going to medal at the Olympics.”

There was a marquee matchup in the meet’s signature Bowerman Mile, where 1,500m world champion Josh Kerr held off Olympic gold medallist Jakob Ingebrigtsen by 26-hundredths of a second to triumph.

Britain’s Kerr clocked 3:45.34 to seize the win in the pair’s first meeting since Kerr stunned the Norwegian star at the world championships in Budapest in August.

Ingebrigtsen skipped the indoor season as he recovered from an Achilles injury.

In other events, American Christian Coleman, the 2019 world champion, won the men’s 100m in 9.95sec, coming out of the blocks strong then holding off Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala, who was second in 9.98.

Coleman is aiming to make a first Olympic team after a suspension for failing to comply with drug testing whereabouts rules cost him a shot at the Tokyo Games.

“I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I feel like now it’s just mentally putting it all together and doing what I know I’m capable of on race day,” Coleman said.

Kenneth Bednarek tuned up for the US trials with a dominant win in the 200m in 19.89sec.

France’s Cyrena Samba-Mayela continued her build up to a home Olympics with a win in the 100m hurdles, matching her national record of 12.52, with Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico settling for second in 12.54.

Camacho-Quinn, who was denied world championships gold last year by Jamaica’s Danielle Williams, was just one one-hundredth of a second ahead of third-placed Tonea Marshall of the United States.

Three-time and reigning world champion Grant Holloway of the United States won the 110m hurdles in a world leading 13.03sec as Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Hansle Parchment of Jamaica was relegated to fourth.

Holloway delivered a dominant performance to finish a tenth of a second ahead of compatriot Daniel Roberts. American Freddie Crittenden was third in 13.16 while Parchment clocked 13.28.

“It’s definitely a building block but I think I could be better,” Holloway said.

Kenyan Daniel Manteiko booked his trip to Paris with a victory in the men’s 10,000 in world leading 26:50.81.

Other season leading performances included Ethiopian Tsigie Gebreselama’s women’s 5,000m victory in 14:18.76, Ugandan Peruth Chemutai’s win in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in 8:55.09 and American Joe Kovacs’ winning shot put of 23.13m.

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