OSTRAVA: DeAnna Price of the United States beat world record holder Anita Wlodarczyk in the hammer throw on Saturday, helping lift the Americas into the lead on the first day of the Continental Cup.
In the women’s 100m, Ivory Coast’s Marie Josee Ta Lou edged British rival Dina Asher-Smith to give Africa its first victory at the two-day global team track and field competition.
Europe are the defending champions in an event which started as athletics’ World Cup four decades ago before changing its name in 2010. It is held every four years.
Price boosted the Americas’ chances with a throw of 75.46 metres, just over two metres further than Poland’s Wlodarczyk. “It is completely mind-blowing,” Price said. “Anita is fantastic. I am not at her level yet... but we are getting there.”
The Americas ended Saturday with 135 points to Europe’s 123. Asia-Pacific have 89 points and Africa 74.
Ta Lou, seeking to loosen the Jamaican and American grip on the sprints, pipped Asher-Smith by 0.02 seconds with a time of 11.14. The pair share the season’s best mark of 10.85 seconds.
World silver medallist Ta Lou also anchored Africa’s 4x100m relay but missed out when the squad dropped the baton. The Americas won the event, timing 42.11 seconds to beat Europe by 0.44 seconds.
The Americas’ men’s 4x100m squad completed the sweep with a mark of 38.05 seconds, with the Africans again failing to finish.
Triple jump winner Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia added to the Americas’ point total. The gold medallist in the last Olympics won easily with 14.76 metres.
Jamaica’s Danielle Williams raced past Americas team-mate Kendra Harrison of the United States in the women’s 100m hurdles. In the women’s 400m, Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser cruised to victory to give Asia-Pacific some much-needed points.
Kenya’s Winny Chebet took the honours over 1,500m in 4min 16.01sec and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands pleased Europe captain Colin Jackson by winning the 3,000m in a championship record of 8min 27.50sec.
Russian Anzhelika Sidorova cleared 4.85 metres just like another two competitors to win the women’s pole vault, and Cuba’s Yaime Perez stunned two-time Olympic and world champion Sandra Perkovic to win the discus.
On the men’s side, world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya jogged to an easy win in the 3,000m steeplechase, roared on by the Ostrava crowd. Only half the field finished, with Olympic silver medallist Evan Jager of the United States scratching before the start.
Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir of Kenya held off his rivals on the final straight to win the 800m in 1min 46.50sec.
Joseph Millar of New Zealand, meanwhile, made an unexpected appearance in the discus.
A sprinter, Millar had just competed in the men’s 200m, won by Panama’s Alonso Edward, when he stepped up to fill a missing spot for Asia-Pacific.
Millar set a ‘personal best’ of 27.15 metres. Jamaican Federick Dacres’s winning throw was measured at 67.97 metres.
Donald Thomas of Jamaica, world champion from 2007, won the men’s high jump with 2.30 metres, while South Africa’s Ruswahl Samaai grabbed the long jump win for 8.16 metres.
Brazil’s Darlan Romani won the shot put contest ahead of world champion Tomas Walsh of New Zealand.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018