Olympic champions Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Elaine Thompson boosted their hopes of global titles next month with super-swift sprints at the tenth International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League meeting of the season in Rabat, but for Rio 2016 winners Conseslus Kipruto and Thiago Braz the evening was anything but uplifting.
Kipruto failed to finish the men’s 3,000 metres steeplechase at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, complaining afterwards of pain in his right ankle.
"I decided to race and I was hoping the pain would stay away," said the 22-year-old Kenyan after Morocco's home runner Soufiane El Bakkali had stepped up to earn a home win in a personal best of 8min 05.12sec.
"But it was wise to leave this race and try to get healthy."
Brazil's Braz, meanwhile, failed to record a mark in a men's pole vault competition won by the renascent talent of Poland’s surprise 2011 world champion Pawel Wojciechowski, who finished with a best of 5.85m.
Miller-Uibo underlined her 400m status with clear victory in a meeting record of 49.80.
The Bahamian runner finished well clear of American pair Natasha Hastings and Quanera Hayes, who clocked 50.86 and 51.08 respectively, with South Africa’s world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya finishing seventh in a season’s best of 51.53.
Jamaica’s Olympic 100 and 200m champion Thompson, who is concentrating on the shorter sprint this year, won in a meeting record of 10.87, with Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou second in a season’s best of 10.90.
Wojciechowski showed that he is a dark horse to win the world title again next month.
Having improved his national record to 5.93 at last week’s Lausanne Diamond League meeting, the 28-year-old from Bydgoszcz kept the winning habit, settling the competition with a first time clearance of 5.70 before making 5.85 at his third attempt.
Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe, an equally undefeated world champion in 2013, was second ahead of another Pole, Piotr Lisek, with both men clearing 5.70 - 10 centimetres more than the current world champion Shawn Barber of Canada.
A strong finish from Canada’s Olympic 200m silver medallist Andre de Grasse earned him victory in a meeting record of 20.03 after he had overhauled the American Trials winner, Ameer Webb, who finished second in 20.18 in front of Britain’s Zharnel Hughes.
The Brit clocked 20.22 as American Trials winner Fred Kerley was fourth in 20.27.
Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser appears an unstoppable force as he heads towards the London World Championships.
The US thrower earned his 10th straight victory, producing a meeting record of 22.47m in the last round - his seventh 22.00m-plus effort in his eight competitions this season.
Jamaica's O’Dayne Richards set a national record of 21.96, adding nearly 30cm to his personal best in the process, while third place went to Crouser’s colleague Ryan Whiting, whose final round effort of 21.26 took him past Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki who had reached 21.12 in his first round.
Botswana's Nijel Amos, who has recovered from injuries to hit top form in the last month with Diamond League 800m victories in Paris and London, maintained his pre-eminence as he won in 1:43.91 in front of Kenya’s Kipyegon Bett, who clocked 1:44.28, and Donovan Brazier of the US, who clocked 1:44.62.
Andriy Protsenko of Ukraine was the only man to clear 2.29m in the high jump, and followed up with three unsuccessful attempts at 2.33.
Tihomir Ivanov of Bulgaria and Britain’s Robbie Grabarz, second and third, were among five in the field to clear 2.27 - of whom one, significantly, was Italy’s European champion Gianmarco Tamberi.
He is catching up fast after a delayed start to his season following recovery from last term's traumatic ankle injury on the eve of the Rio Olympics.
South Africa’s Rushwal Samaai won the men’s long jump with 8.35m, two centimetres ahead of Jarrion Lawson of the US.
While Croatia's Rio 2016 javelin winner Sara Kolak was otherwise engaged, winning the European Under-23 title with an effort of 65.12m in Bydgoszcz, her Czech predecessor as Olympic champion, Barbora Spotakova, who beat Kolak with a final round season’s best of 68.26m at last week's London Diamond League, secured another victory with 63.73.
World and Olympic triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen finished well clear of a field that didn’t include the 21-year-old Venezuelan who beat her at last month’s Rome Diamond League meeting, Yulimar Rojas.
The 33-year-old Colombian won with 14.51m, 20cm ahead of Kimberly Williams of Jamaica, with Greece’s Paraskevi Papachristou taking third place with 14.21, a centimetre ahead of London 2012 champion Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan.
Britain's Chijindu Ujah won the non-Diamond League 100m from which Jamaica’s Yohan Blake had withdrawn with a groin injury, clocking his first sub-10sec of the season to win in a meeting record of 9.98.
Ben Youssef Meite of Cote d’Ivoire was second in 10.01, with Britain’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake third in 10.18.
World 400m hurdles champion Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic produced a season’s best of 54.22 to win ahead of Janieve Russell of Jamaica, who clocked 54,36, with Britain’s Eilidh Doyle third in 54.92.
Victory in a tactical women’s 1,500m race was claimed by Poland’s Angela Cichocka in 4:01.93, from home runner Rababe Arafi, who recorded 4:02.19, and 2013 world silver medallist Brenda Martinez of the United States, who clocked a season’s best of 4:02.75.