Justin Gatlin continued his pursuit of world domination in Beijing this summer, with another stunning performance at the Diamond League in Rome yesterday. The tarnished American sprinter stopped the clock at 9.75 seconds for the 100m, which was good enough for seventh fastest on the all-time list.
In a week when Panorama attempted to blow the lid off Alberto Salazar's training methods, thereby raising the speculation over Britain Mo Farah's involvement with his coach, it was another sobering moment for #Athletics' fans. Gatlin has previously served two bans relating to doping, so his success will forever be viewed with suspicion by many within the sport.
Gatlin surged clear
For now though, the 33-year-old is free to compete and he is taking full advantage of his second (or should that be third) chance. His victory was conclusive once again, the time knocking one hundredth of a second off Usain Bolt's 2012 time at the same meeting. It was also just behind his world leading time, suggesting that consistency is not an issue for him. Trailing in his afterburners were Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut and fellow American Michael Rodgers. Both men ran 9.98 seconds, Vicaut being awarded second by a fraction.
Pichardo jumping for joy
Another consistent performer in the Diamond League so far this season has been Cuba's triple jump sensation, Pedro Pablo Pichardo. He was on song in Rome to the tune of 17.96m to set a new stadium record. Already over the magical 18m mark twice this season, Pichardo seems destined to challenge Jonathan Edwards' world record soon.
Five world bests
World best performances rained down in Rome, with five being set in total on the night. The current world champion, Ethiopian Mohamed Aman covered the 800m distance in 1:43.56, with the other men's best falling to his fellow countryman Yomif Kejelcha in the 5,000m with 12:58.39. Still just 17 years of age, Kejelcha showed that his win in Eugene was no fluke to push Kenyan Paul Tanui into second place, with three other men also under 13 minutes.
The women fared even better: American Jenny Simpson ran 3:59.31 for the 1500m; Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi set the 3000m steeplechase best with 9:15.08; and Spaniard Ruth Beitia cleared 2.00m in the high jump.
British podium positions were achieved by Tiffany Porter and Shara Proctor. Porter continued her solid start to the season in the 100m hurdles, claiming third with 12.69 seconds. The event was won by America's Sharika Nelvis in 12.52 seconds, although there was some disruption caused by three fallers, including Olympic champion Sally Pearson. Proctor was narrowly edged into second place in the long jump, her best of 6.85m being just 4cm behind winner Darya Klishina of Russia.