Samba and Semenya boast tremendous screen presence
It was the big news of the evening. Abderrahman Samba broke the 47-second barrier in the 400m hurdles on Saturday evening at Charléty, during the MEETING de PARIS. The young Qatari posted the second best performance in history in 46"98, two tenths of a second shy of the world record held since 1992 by Kevin Young. However, this was not the only stellar performance the 16,534 spectators in the Parisian arena had the chance to relish. Indeed, the double Olympic champion Caster Semenya notably surpassed her personal best in the 800m (1’54"25, best performance in the world this season), whilst Ronnie Baker (9"88, equalled the best performance in the world this season) narrowly beat Jimmy Vicaut (2nd in 9"91) in the 100m, in the guise of the star attraction of this seventh leg of the Diamond League.
Lasitskene continues her string of wins, Mayer puts on a show
Another highlight was the continuation of Mariya Lasitskene’s reign. The Russian won her 45th consecutive high jump competition thanks to a jump of 2.04m (best performance in the world this season). She beat the Olympic heptathlon champion, Belgian Nafissatou Thiam (2nd, 1.97m). The latter wasn’t the only star of the combined events to show what she was made of this evening: Kevin Mayer, reigning world champion in the heptathlon, really put on a show, winning the triathlon (long jump, shot put, 110m hurdles), and securing two personal bests to boot.
The pole vault was one of the most hotly awaited competitions of the evening. The American Sam Kendricks (5.96m, best performance in the world this season) beat the Swedish prodigy Armand Duplantis (just 18 years of age, 2nd with 5.90m) and a still consistent Renaud Lavillenie, despite this complicated start to the summer (3rd, with 5.84m).
Minimum requirement ticked off for Bosse, concern for Lemaitre
Pierre-Ambroise finished 7th in the 800m in 1’45"19. It was a far from satisfactory performance for the Frenchman who was “in it to win it”, but at least he is assured of being able to compete in the next European Championships (7-12 August in Berlin). However, in light of this evening’s competition, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on Christophe Lemaitre’s state of health. The bronze medallist at the Rio Games suffered a thigh injury during the 100m B and was not able to participate in the 200m. This was the only sour note in a meeting contested in a great atmosphere and summery conditions, where five of the best performances in the world this season were set.