Olympic champions Ruth Jebet and Omar McLeod, hoping to build on their recent successes here with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in London just over a month away, both finished their events limping heavily.
Jebet, the 20-year-old Kenyan-born athlete running for Bahrain, had been hoping to improve upon the world 3,000 metre steeplechase world record of 8min 52.78sec she set at this meeting last year.
However, a fall at the water jump when well placed with just over three laps remaining damaged her hopes as she eventually struggled home fourth in 9:10.95 in a race won by Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech in 9:01.69.
McLeod, who had easily won his earlier 110m hurdles heat, drifted out of contention over the final three hurdles, finishing last in 13.41sec and left the track at the Stade Charlety holding the back of his right knee.
Victory went to his Jamaican team-mate Ronald Levy in a personal best of 13.05 ahead of Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi, who also produced his quickest time ever with 13.14, while home hurdler Garfield Darien edged world champion Sergey Shubenkov for third in 13.15.
The women’s 1,500m saw Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands hang on to a lead that was challenged all the way round the final bend and down the finishing straight by Kenya’s Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon.
On a blustery night, Hassan, who heads this year’s world rankings with 3:56.14, had the strength to take maximum points, clocking 3:57.10, the third fastest time seen this year, with Kipyegon second in a season’s best of 3:57.51 ahead of Gudaf Tesegay of Ethiopia, who claimed third place in a personal best of 3:59.55.
Jamaica’s Olympic 100 and 200m champion Elaine Thompson, who confirmed here yesterday that she would only be doing the shorter sprint at this year’s IAAF World Championships, produced the goods, winning in 10.91sec.
Thompson was pushed to the line by the Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who finished second in a season’s best of 10.96.
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, who also clocked a season’s best of 11.09, came third.
A dramatic finish in the men’s 3,000m saw two of the world’s most talented middle distance runners in the form of Ethiopia’s 19-year-old world indoor champion Yomif Kejelcha and Kenya’s 21-year-old Ronald Kwemoi, winner at two Diamond League meetings already this season, charge for the line.
But neither could resist the final burst of Kejelcha’s 23-year-old compatriot Muktar Edris, who crossed first in a personal best of 7:32.31.
Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor of the United States underlined his position as favourite for another big gold this summer as he won with a second round best of 17.29m.
Earlier in the evening, home Olympic decathlon silver medallist Kevin Mayer did his World Championships ambitions in the post-Ashton Eaton era no harm at all in a showcase triathlon, recording his best-ever javelin throw of 70.54m.
He then took more than two-tenths off his 110m hurdles personal as he clocked 13.78, despite knocking over the last hurdle.
In a tactical men’s pole vault, France’s world record holder Renaud Lavillenie gambled on skipping to 5.77m, but in blustery conditions he was unable to clear it and victory went to Sam Kendricks, who achieved his first 6.00 at last weekend’s national trials.
The US Army reserve second lieutenant confirmed victory by clearing 5.77m, then rubbed it in with a further clearance of 5.82.
Germany’s Olympic javelin champion Thomas Rohler admitted on the eve of the competition that wind was the one thing he found difficult when it came to competition.
That may have lessened the surprise that the man who landed his third and fourth 90m-plus throws in Ostrava on Wednesday night could only manage third place here with 87.23m, as fellow countryman Johannes Vetter won with 88.74m, ahead of the Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, who equalled his personal best with 88.02m.
It was business as usual in the men’s high jump as Mutaz Essa Barshim, who heads this year’s world rankings with 2.38m, secured victory with a first time clearance of 2.35m.