By Mike Rowbottom

Mutaz Essa Barshim won the Rome Diamond League meeting with a high jump of 2.41m ©AFP/Getty ImagesQatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim was the stand-out performer in today's Golden Gala - Pietro Mennea in Rome - as he won a stellar high jump competition with an effort of 2.41 metres, adding a centimetre to his Asian record and equalled the Diamond League and outdoor world 2014 best.

The 22-year-old world indoor champion thus eclipsed some of his keenest rivals in an event that is reaching an unprecedented depth of elite quality, including Russia's Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov - whose 2014 outdoor best Barshim matched in the Olympic Stadium, Ukraine's world champion Bohdan Bondarenko - second with 2.34, American Olympic silver medallist Erik Kynard - third with 2.31 - and Olympic bronze medallist Derek Drouin of Canada - fourth on 2.28.

Ukhov - whose 2.42 jump indoors in February made him the second highest jumper other than Cuba's Javier Sotomayor, whose world record of 2.45 has stood since 1993 - had an off day, finishing ninth with 2.28.

Elsewhere at the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) fourth Diamond League meeting of the season two leading lights pulled out of their scheduled events.

First, the 100 metres hurdles lane which should have had Australia's Olympic champion and world silver medallist Sally Pearson was conspicuously empty ahead of a race won by United States world champion Brianna Rollins in 12.53sec, the fastest so far this season.

And the concluding race, the men's 800m, took place without Botswana's effervescent Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos, who had beaten Ethiopia's world champion Mohammed Aman and returning Olympic champion David Rudisha at last Saturday's (May 31) Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon.

The 20-year-old posted on his Facebook account that he had had to withdraw for medical reasons - a huge disappointment to his fans back home who were hoping to watch him on television.

In his absence Aman won in the relatively sedate time of 1min 44.24sec ahead of Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, who clocked 1:44.57.

Rollins' 2014 world-leading effort was matched in the women's pole vault, where Cuba's Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva won with 4.70m, and in the women's 5,000m, where Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba earned victory in 14:34.99.

Genzebe Dibaba salutes her 5,000m victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome ©AFP/Getty ImagesGenzebe Dibaba salutes her 5,000m victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome ©AFP/Getty Images

Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica also produced a 2014 world-leading effort in the 400m hurdles, where she clocked 53.97.

The men's 1500m was won by Silas Kiplagat of Kenya in 3:30.44, ahead of Djibouti's world indoor champion Ayanleh Souleiman, who clocked 3:31.89, and Kenya's double world champion Asbel Kiprop, timed at 3:31.89.

American Justin Gatlin, the Athens 2004 Olympic 100m champion who headlined this meeting last year by beating Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt by one hundredth of a second in the 100m, took another victory in that event in a time of 9.91.

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