By Alasdair Mackenzie
ROME (Reuters) – Michael Norman held off a late surge from fellow American Noah Lyles to win the men’s 200 metres in a world leading time of 19.70 seconds at the Rome Diamond League on Thursday.
Lyles had vowed to “shock the world” with his performance in the Italian capital but finished two hundredths of a second behind his compatriot albeit in a season’s best time.
“I still have a lot of technical issues with myself, like be patient,” the 21-year-old Norman said after setting a meeting record with his personal best time.
“I did not have any expectations coming into this race. I just want to improve myself and not chase a time.”
Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson won the women’s 100 metres in a world leading 10.89 seconds as she overcame Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith in the final 50 metres.
Asher-Smith (10.94) was nonetheless pleased with her first attempt at the 100m distance this season.
“The race wasn’t what I expected, and I had a really fast start which is really good,” she said.
“Opening the season with sub 11 seconds isn’t bad at all, especially when I’m still feeling a little rusty.”
American Donavan Brazier caught Botswana’s Nijel Amos in the final straight to win the men’s 800m by 0.02 seconds in a thrilling finish, recording a world leading time of 1:43:63.
“Nijel always sets the pace for the races but I knew I could come away with a win,” said Brazier. “Recently, I’ve had some really close races, but this is a great winning time.”
Ethiopia’s women’s 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba set a world leading 3:56.28 to finish ahead of Britain’s Laura Muir (3:56.73), while Germany’s Malaika Mihambo won the women’s long jump with a personal best of 7.07m.
Russian Sergey Shubenkov, competing as a neutral athlete, pipped Andrew Pozzi to the line to win the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.26 seconds after a strong start from the Briton.
Angelica Bengtsson set a Swedish record to win the women’s pole vault with 4.76m, while in the men’s high jump home favourite Gianmarco Tamberi could only muster 2.28m to finish fourth, with Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko winning with 2.31m.
American Omar Craddock triumphed in the men’s triple jump with 17.50m, while there were dominant wins for Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser in the women’s 400m and Daliliah Muhammad of the United States in the women’s 400m hurdles.
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Ken Ferris)