There was a Jamaican win too in the women’s 400m as Stephanie Ann McPherson’s strong finish in lane seven earned her victory in 51.11 ahead of three US runners – Kendall Ellis, who clocked 51.21, Shakima Wimbley, on 51.50, and world champion Phyllis Francis, who relinquished her lead halfway down the finishing straight, clocking 51.56.
The women’s 800m did count in the IAAF Diamond League, and Hanna Green of the United States made the last 20 metres count as she moved up to pass Jamaica’s Natoya Goule just before the line, clocking 1:58.39 to the Jamaican’s 1:58.59.
Interestingly, American sprinter Noah Lyles is heading towards the IAAF Diamond League final, and the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 beyond, at warp speed.
The 22-year-old US flowed to a 200m time of 19.65 on the newly laid blue track of the Stade Charlety to record one of the most emphatic wins of the night at the Meeting de Paris on Saturday (24).
In his wake was Turkey’s world champion Ramil Guliyev, who finished in 20.01 ahead of Canada’s Aaron Brown, who was timed at 20.13.
After running a time only he has bettered this season – having clocked 19.50 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne – Lyles is looking hugely likely to dispossess Guliyev of his title later this year, especially as he has simplified his running programme by deciding not to try to double up over 100m in Qatar.
“I’m coming off a loaded week in training so that gives me a lot of confidence,” said Lyles, whose winning mark bettered Usain Bolt’s meeting record of 19.73 from 2013. “It felt fast. I blinked and all of a sudden the race was over.
“I’ve been putting in some great training sessions, but it’s always different when you’re over here in Europe, it’s like a hiccup to overcome in itself with the travel.
“When I was coming off the turn it felt like such a fast track, the fastest I’ve ever felt coming off the turn. Looking to Doha, it’s not about going after Bolt’s record or anything like that, but when we get there we’re willing to go after any event.”
Karsten Warholm won the 400m hurdles in characteristically bold style as he came home in 47.26, 0.14 off the European record he set in London last month. What may prove significant is that the world and European champion managed to repeat the feat he accomplished earlier this month in winning the Norwegian title, namely taking 13 steps between each hurdle.
France’s Ludvy Vaillant clocked a personal best of 48.30 in second place, ahead of reigning Diamond League and Commonwealth champion Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands, who finished in a season’s best of 48.33.