Gong brings hosts opening gold, Su wins 100m at Shanghai Diamond League

GABRIEL BOUYS  AFP

Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson overcame a slow start to win the women's 100 metres at the Shanghai Diamond League yesterday, her second victory in as many weeks.

It is the third time for Gong to win the Diamond League Shanghai meeting, following her victories in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

Two-time Olympic champion David Rudisha of Kenya faded to fourth in the 800, more than half a second behind victor Kipyegon Bett's time of 1:44.70 and four seconds off his own world record.

Race favourite Michael Rodgers fell short of his season's best and could only muster a second place finish, behind China's Su Bingtian, who produced a blistering performance in front of home fans.

Like all athletes, McLeod lives in the shadow of compatriot Usain Bolt and he said it was "sad" that the sprint king had chose to retire after the August 4-13 world championships in London.

Former World champion, David Oliver and fellow American Aries Merritt will also both feature.

Meeting director Ellen van Langen of Global Sports Communication described the new format as "another important step in improving the attractiveness of the Diamond League series overall".

"This is where I ran my fastest time a year ago and I've opened up with 13.04 this time so the goal is to go sub-13 again, for sure".

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Cornelius said Manyonga had three Diamond League jumps before the World Championship.the first of which is in Rome on June 8.

Daniella Bunch of the United States finished second at 18.98m and Hungary's Anita Marton, the bronze medalist at Rio Olympic Games, took the third place at 18.69m. "I can only aim to post good times in this Chinese city".

The high jump maestro, who leaped to 2.36m to win the season-opening meeting in Doha earlier this month, cleared 2.33m to win the contest.

Ukranian Olha Zemlyak finished third, clocking 50.89.

While the all-South African podium many were hoping for going into this event didn't quite materialise, Manyonga's Diamond League record of 8.61m in his last jump was a marvel. Jeff Henderson led the USA finishers in the men's long jump with his sixth-place jump of 8.03.

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion, finished a disappointing fourth in his first race of the season in Doha last week and decided his form wasn't high enough to compete in Shanghai. "The fact that his average jumps are 8.60m means the big one is still coming".

It turned out to be sweet revenge over America's Olympic gold medallist Jeff Henderson, who beat Manyonga by a mere centimetre to claim the title in Rio de Janeiro with a distance of 8.38m. Kendricks won bronze in his Olympic debut in Rio in 2016 behind Lavillenie's silver.

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