Simbine upstages Coleman and Kerley to win 100-meter title at Diamond League meet in China

SUZHOU, China — Akani Simbine surged late to win the 100 meters in 10.01 seconds at the Diamond League meet in China on Saturday, upstaging American former world champions Christian Coleman and Fred Kerley.

Coleman was fastest out of the blocks — he’s the world record holder in the 60 meters — and was leading most of the way but had to settle for second place in his season-best 10.04, holding off Kerley who was third in 10.11.

The race had been billed as a showdown between the two Americans going head-to-head on back-to-back weekends in China — Coleman got the better of Kerley in the series-opener last week in Xiamen.

But South Africa’s Simbine overhauled them over the last 20 meters of the race.

“This has built a lot of confidence leading into the Olympic year,” the two-time Olympic finalist said. “This helps build momentum, which I hope to build on further as the season progresses.”

Coleman said he expected a better performance “but I am fine with today’s result” as part of his preparation for the Paris Olympics which start in late July in Paris.

Armand Duplantis had a bid at pole vault world records in back-to-back meets but missed all three attempts at 6.25 meters as he won the title in Suzhou, near Shanghai.

Last weekend in Xiamen, Duplantis, the two-time world champion known as Mondo, improved his world record by one centimeter with a winning mark of 6.24 meters.

On Saturday, the Swede was the only competitor to clear 5.92 meters, then he cleared 6 meters at his first attempt before raising the bar to 6.25 for three shots at the record.

“To jump six meters today and complete a very successful tour, I have a lot of good takeaways,” Duplantis said. “I just feel that conditions have to be perfect for me to jump a world record and I wasn’t quite feeling it off the runway tonight.”

Women’s 100-meter world champion Sha’Carri Richardson faded toward the end of a 200 for the second time in her two-week trip to China.

After finishing second to Australian teenager Torrie Lewis last week, Richardson placed third on Saturday in 23.11 seconds — behind Daryll Neita, who won in 22.62 seconds, and Anavia Battle, who took second in 22.99.

“I feel amazing. It was such a strong field and to run that time at this stage of the season is amazing,” Neita said. “My main focus for the rest of the season is to stay healthy and in one piece. I hope to really win a medal at the Olympics.”

In a contentious women’s 100-meter hurdles, Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won in a photo finish with world record-holder Tobi Amusan, who was allowed to run under protest but was disqualified for a false start.

Camacho-Quinn took first place in 12.63 seconds, narrowly ahead of Devynne Charlton, the 60-meter hurdles world record-holder, in 12.64.

“There was three of us in a line, so I didn’t know who had won,” Camacho-Quinn said, immediately looking ahead to the Olympics. “I know what I need to work on.”

Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya won her second straight 3,000-meter steeplechase of the series in 9 minutes, 7.36 seconds, more than 10 seconds slower than the world-leading 8:55.40 she clocked last weekend.


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