CARIBBEAN WINS THE 400M
At 7.04 p.m., all eyes in the world of athletics turned to the Zurich arena and witnessed a first world leading performance right away – a very fitting opening of this year’s meeting. The Olympic and world championship silver medallist was the first to break the 49-second mark this season: Her 48.99 also represented a national record for the Dominican Republic and, of course, earned her a Diamond Trophy. The Caribbean country definitely also celebrated Paulino’s fellow countrywoman Fiordaliza Cofil, who came in second. Their success should not come as a surprise, after the two had claimed the world championship title in the mixed relay this year.
The Diamond Trophy of the men’s race will be taken to the Caribbean as well: 30-year-old Kirani James from Grenada, once again, used his experience to win the race in impressive fashion (44.26). The three-time world championship and Olympic medallist claimed the title again, after winning a first Diamond Trophy eleven years ago. Ricky Petrucciani, member of the Zurich athletics club and European championship bronze medallist placed fifth in 45.31 and prevailed in the “virtual duel” against national champion Lionel Spitz (45.53). Spitz had competed in the 400m of the meeting’s national programme of events in which he had lined up against world record holder Wayde van Niekerk (RSA, 44.39). European champion Matthew Hudson-Smith (GBR) had to pull out of the race after the warm-up.
EUROPEAN CHAMPION TO CHALLENGE JAMES
Grenada’s experienced Kirani James (30) became a world champion for the first time in 2011. One year later, he claimed the Olympic title in London. Today, the star and Commander of the Order of the British Empire, will be challenged by British European champion Matthew Hudson-Smith (28), who defended his 2018 title in Munich this year. At the world championships in Eugene, James had won a silver medals, beating Hudson-Smith, who came in third.
How will European championship silver medallist Ricky Petrucciani (22), a member of the local athletics club, fare in tonight’s race front of his home crowd?
Olympic Champion: Shaunae MILLER-UIBO (BAH) 48.36
World Champion: Shaunae MILLER-UIBO (BAH) 49.11
European Champion: Femke BOL (NED) 49.44
World Lead: Shaunae MILLER-UIBO (BAH) 49.11
Olympic Champion: Steven GARDINER (BAH) 43.85
World Champion: Michael NORMAN (USA) 43.56
European Champion: Matthew HUDSON-SMITH (GBR) 44.53
World Lead: Michael NORMAN (USA) 43.56