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Olympic stars lead Americas to Continental Cup win

September 11, 2018


OSTRAVA: Athletes are silhouetted during the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase at the IAAF Continental Cup.—AP
OSTRAVA: Athletes are silhouetted during the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase at the IAAF Continental Cup.—AP

OSTRAVA: Triple jumper Christian Taylor and sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo handed the Americas team a win in the Continental Cup on Sunday after dominating their events and then leading the final mixed 4x400 metres relay to a win.

The Americas — who led after the first day in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava — finished with 262 points ahead of Europe with 233 and Asia-Pacific with 188 at the two-day global track and field competition. Africa finished last with 142 points.

The Continental Cup, previously known as the World Cup, gathers four continental teams with two athletes from each team in each event, except the relays.

Taylor, a two-time Olympic and three-time world champion, won the triple jump with 17.59 metres. Africa’s Hugues Fabrice Zango finished second and Asia-Pacific’s Arpinder Singh was third.

Bahamian sprinter Miller-Uibo kicked late in the women’s 200 metres to surge past Dutch runner Dafne Schippers with a time of 22.16. Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou — who won the 100 metres a day earlier — finished third.

“This last race of the season was a tough one,” said Miller-Uibo, the Olympic 400 metres champion who extended her unbeaten streak to 10 races this season. “We were exhausted at the finish line and long after. I must say I felt the pressure competing for the team but the joy this victory brings is significant.”

American Noah Lyles edged out China’s Bingtian Su in the men’s 100 metres. The 21-year-old Lyles overtook Su near the finish to pip the Chinese by 0.02 seconds, winning in 10.01 to help wrap up the title. South Africa’s Akani Simbine was third.

Paul Chelimo of the United States clocked 7:57.13 to win the men’s 3,000 metres and his fellow countryman Sam Kendricks cleared 5.85 metres to take the men’s pole vault.

After winning the triple jump on Saturday, Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia added another victory for the Americas with 6.93 metres in the women’s long jump.

In the women’s 400 metres hurdles, Jamaica’s Janieve Russell won in 53.62 seconds, beating team-mate Shamier Little of the United States who finished in 53.86 seconds. Ukraine’s Anna Yaroshchuk-Ryzhykova finished third in 54.47 seconds.

Sergey Shubenkov of Russia, the 2015 world champion, helped narrow the gap for the Europeans by winning the men’s 110 metres hurdles in 13.03 seconds, beating Jamaica’s Ronald Levy who finished second after leading through the first four hurdles. France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde was third.

Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya gave the Africans a win in the women’s 800 metres, finishing in 1:54.77 and beating Ajee Wilson of the United States and Jamaica’s Natoya Goule who finished second and third.

Asian champion Abdalelah Haroun pipped Africa’s Baboloki Thebe in the men’s 400 metres, winning in 44.72 seconds while US sprinter Nathan Strother finished third.

World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya cruised to victory in the women’s 3000 metres steeplechase in 9:07.92, easily beating Courtney Frerichs of the United States who finished in 9:15.22 and Bahrain’s Winfred Mutile Yavi at 9:17.86.

Olympic champion Thomas Rohler won javelin with a throw of 87.07m, while the hammer throw honours went to another Olympic winner, Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov.

Two-time world champion Mariya Lasitskene of Russia cleared two metres to win the women’s high jump and reigning world champion Lijiao Gong of China won the shot put.

World champion Elijah Manangoi gave the Africans something to celebrate by winning the men’s 1500 metres in 3:40.00 to beat European rivals Marcin Lewandowski and Jakob Ingebrigtsen who finished second and third with times of 3:40.42 and 3:40.80 respectively.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018