Christian Coleman powers home in Prefontaine Classic

Wins for Caster Semenya, Michael Norman, and Blessing Okagbare as American sprinter Coleman runs fastest 100m in the world this year to beat Justin Gatlin in Stanford.

By Rory Jiwani ·

Christian Coleman shone brightest at a star-studded Prefontaine Classic in Stanford.

The American clocked the fastest 100m of the world this year, 9.81 seconds, to beat reigning world champion Justin Gatlin with Britain's Zharnel Hughes in third.

It was Coleman's first career victory over the 37-year-old who pipped him in the final of the World Championships in London two years ago.

Christian Coleman celebrates victory in the 100m at the 2019 Prefontaine Classic in Stanford

There were also wins for double Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya back over her favourite distance, and high jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene.

Caster Semenya wins the 800m at the 2019 Prefontaine Classic in Stanford

Mondo Duplantis beat world champion Sam Kendricks to take the pole vault, while there was a shock in the women's 200m as Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare upstaged double Olympic champ Elaine Thompson and Dina Asher-Smith.

There was another surprise in the women's 3000m as Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands took apart a quality field to win in a new personal best with Hellen Obiri and Almaz Ayana finishing down the field.

Michael Norman won the 400m although he was almost a second down on his best, winning in 44.62s.

Michael Norman takes the 400m at the 2019 Prefontaine Classic in Stanford

And there was a Diamond League record in the men's shot put from an unlikely source.

Darlan Romani's Brazilan record stood at 22.00m before the competition. He improved it three times with his best, 22.61m, seeing him beat Olympic champion Ryan Crouser and world champion Tomas Walsh.

Darla Romani wins the shot put at the 2019 Prefontaine Classic in Stanford

The Prefontaine Classic, as it happened

15:00 local time (2300 GMT)

That was all too easy for Tim Cheruiyot in the Bowerman Mile, the Kenyan winding up the pace from 250m out and no-one could pass him.

He strode clear down the home straight and was able to pump his fists in celebration well before crossing the line in 3:50.49.

Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti was second ahead of Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen who both recorded personal bests.

Matthew Centrowitz was back in sixth.

That concludes the action from the Prefontaine Classic. Christian Coleman was undoubtedly the star of the show with his 9.81s, the fastest 100m in the world this year, but Caster Semenya and Mariya Lasitskene underlined their superiority in the 800m and high jump respectively.

14:50 local time (2250 GMT)

There's a new name in the men's shot put and his name is Darlan Romani.

The Brazilian broke his own national record three times in the competition, topping out at 22.61m in the fifth round for his first Diamond League win.

That distance was also a Diamond League record, making Romani a genuine contender for gold in Doha in October.

Olympic champion Ryan Crouser was second on 22.17m ahead of New Zealand's reigning world champion Tomas Walsh who had a best throw of 21.76m.

The final event on the track at the end of a superb couple of hours' athletics is the Bowerman Mile with Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz heading the home challenge.

Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway are in a strong line-up with reigning Diamond League Tim Cheruiyot of Kenya arguably the man to beat.

14:43 local time (2243 GMT)

Wow, that was an awesome display of sprinting from Christian Coleman. He fairly flew out of the blocks and never looked like being caught although reigning world champion Justin Gatlin was closing on him at the finish.

The time, 9.81 seconds, the fastest in the world this year.

At 37, Gatlin showed he is no back number as he clocked 9.87 ahead of Zharnel Hughes in third in 9.97.

But that was mightily impressive from Coleman who looks the man to beat over 100m this season.

Why athlete of year finalist Christian Coleman agrees he's like a Ferrari

It's not only because the sprinter likes "to just go fast." There's a much ...

14:40 local time (2240 GMT)

Faith Kipyegon wins the 1500m, sprinting past Laura Muir with 50m to go to take victory.

Muir led at the bell and fought grimly to try to hold off her rivals, but the Olympic champion was just too strong as she clocked a winning time of 3:59.04. Shelby Houlihan of the United States took third.

Mariya Lasitskene failed with three attempts at a new personal best of 2.08m after winning the high jump. And Mondo Duplantis was also unsuccessful at 6.03m after his victory in the pole vault.

14:30 local time (2230 GMT)

Well, there's a turn-up for the books as Blessing Okagbare in lane 8 powers home in the women's 200m. The tall Nigerian finished really strongly to win from Elaine Thompson with Dina Asher-Smith in third.

Blessing Okagbare throws herself at the tape to take the 200m at the 2019 Prefontaine Classic in Stanford

Qatar's Salwa-Eid Naser ran a new national record of 22.51 in fourth with Dafne Schippers only sixth.

Vashti Cunningham failed with her third and final attempt at 2.02m handing victory to Mariya Lasitskene. And the two-time world champion has further proved her dominance with a first-time clearance at 2.04m.

Cunningham was second ahead of Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh who elected not to try 2.02m after achieving a personal best of 2.00m.

Next on the track is the women's 1500m featuring Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon and British rising star Laura Muir. Then it's the men's 100m with Justin Gatlin up against Christian Coleman.

14:26 local time (2226 GMT)

Perhaps not the fireworks we were hoping for but Michael Norman takes the 400m in 44.62s.

An excellent second bend saw Norman take control of the race, and he won from Kahmari Montgomery with Fred Kerley in third.

Mariya Lasitskene has cleared 2.02m with her first attempt as she maintains her perfect record in the high jump.

The Russian, competing as an Authorised Neutral Athlete, leads from Vashti Cunningham who has now failed twice at 2.02m. She will have one attempt to go.

Now it's the women's 200m with Elaine Thompson, winner of the sprint double at Rio 2016, up against world champion Dafne Schippers and Britain's Dina Asher-Smith.

Asher-Smith won the last time they met over 200m, and she is in lane 4 so will be able to see her rivals outside her with Schippers in 5 and Thompson in 6.

14:18 local time (2218 GMT)

Sifan Hassan has taken apart a top-quality field in the 3000m here, clocking a Diamond League record and personal best of 8:18.49.

The Dutchwoman surged past Letesenbet Gidey with 200m to go and strode clear to record a fine win with Germany's Kostanze Klosterhalfen taking Gidey for second.

There were some big names down the field with Hellen Obiri only sixth and Almaz Ayana trailing in 18th and last out of the athletes to finish.

Next up, the men's 400m. Will we see something special from Michael Norman? Reigning Diamond League champion Fred Kerley will try and give him something to think about.

14:12 local time (2210 GMT)

Superb from Vashti Cunningham who jumps a new personal best of 2.00m on her first attempt. And she did it pretty comfortably.

Find out more about the young American, and daughter of NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, here.

Vashti Cunningham and her father: It's complicated

The 18-year-old American is coached by her father who is also her pastor. S...

14:07 local time (2207 GMT)

A seriously competitive women's 3000m is underway with Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana and world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri the standout names.

Gong Lijiao of China won the women's shot put with 19.79m. Any one of her best four throws would have been enough to take victory with Danniel Thomas-Dodd of Jamaica second on 19.26m.

In the women's high jump, I missed Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh clearing 1.98m on her first attempt and she, Cunningham and Lasitskene will now try 2.00m.

14:00 local time (2200 GMT)

A bit of a surprise in the men's 110m hurdles as Spain's Orlando Ortega took victory from Wilhem Belocian of France with Jamaica's world and Olympic champion Omar McLeod only third.

Mondo Duplantis takes the lead in the pole vault as he clears 5.93m on his second attempt.

Sam Kendricks has one attempt left at 5.93m but he just knocks off the bar and the win goes to the 19-year-old Swedish sensation.

Mariya Lasitskene clears 1.98m to take the lead in the women's high jump but Ashanti Cunningham quickly joins her and hopefully we'll see some 2m+ jumps today.

13:50 local time (2150 GMT)

Caster Semenya dominated the field in the 800m to take her unbeaten record in the event to 31 races.

South Africa's double Olympic champion won in a meet record of 1:55.70 with Ajee Wilson next some three seconds back.

Ukraine's Nataliya Prischchepa fell on the final bend as she tried to sprint round the outside, but no trouble for Semenya who was well clear of any danger.

Just Kendricks and Duplantis left in the pole vault now after Poland's Piotr Lisek and US college star Chris Nilsen both failed at 5.81m.

Kendricks cleared 5.88m on his first attempt to keep up his perfect record, but Duplantis had his first failure and elected to go straight to the next height.

13:47 local time (2147 GMT)

A cracking finish to the two miles - Selemon Barega led into the home straight but he was passed by both Joshua Cheptegei and Paul Chelimo who had the crowd cheering him on as he flew home on the outside. But the Ugandan runner just held him off to take victory.

Now it's time for the women's 800m with all eyes on Caster Semenya.

13:43 local time (2143 GMT)

The pole vault is starting to heat up with world champion Sam Kendricks and Mondo Duplantis going clear on their first attempts at 5.81m. Will we see some six-metre plus jumps today?

Olympic champion Thiago Braz is out after three failures at 5.71m.

13:32 local time (2132 GMT)

It was tight but Marie-Josee Ta Lou overcame a slow start to take the 100m in 11.02s from Aleia Hobbs.

Some disappointments from the big names with reigning world champion Tori Bowie seventh and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce eighth.

Disappointment too for London 2012 pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie who's gone out at 5.61m.

Next on the track is the men's two miles. The field is dominated by Kenyan and Ethiopians but there is also Paul Chelimo, silver medallist at Rio 2016 in the 5000m.

13:21 local time (2121 GMT)

That was pretty comfortable for Beatrice Chepkoech, the Kenyan going to the front early on and staying clear of the pack led by world champion Emma Coburn.

The winning time of 8:55.58 was 11 seconds outside her own world record but she was well ahead of the American who clocked 9:04:90.

The action's coming thick and fast now with the women's 100m starring two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

13:09 local time (2109 GMT)

Wow, what a start to the afternoon as Rai Benjamin runs 47.16s, the eighth fastest 400m hurdles of all-time and the quickest in the world this year, to take victory.

He left the field trailing in his wake with Commonwealth champion Kyron McMaster in second place. A reminder that his personal best is 47.02s with only Qatar's Abderrahman Samba faster than him among active runners.

Next up is the women's 3,000m steeplechase and there's a big cheer for the home favourite, world champion Emma Coburn, as her name is announced.

But like most of the fields tonight, there are plenty of threats including Kenya's world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech.

The women's high jump has just got underway with Mariya Lasitskene likely to be hard to beat.

13:03 local time (2103 GMT)

We're underway in Stanford for the Prefontaine Classic.

The men's pole vault and women's shot are in their early stages and we're just about to have the first action on the track, the men's 400m hurdles which is a non-Diamond League event.

Rai Benjamin, a former college team-mate of Michael Norman (who we'll see later in the 400m) and the son of ex-West Indies fast bowler Winston Benjamin, is the man to beat here.


There are world and Olympic champions galore in attendance with reigning 100m world champion Justin Gatlin up against the man he pipped in London two years ago, Christian Coleman.

Jamaica's two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is also in California while Rio 2016 double champion Elaine Thompson faces Dina Asher-Smith and Dafne Schippers over 200m.

And there is double Olympic champ Caster Semenya who runs the 800m after the Swiss Supreme Court ruled that she could compete over her favourite distance while her appeal against the IAAF's Hyperandrogenism Regulations is being considered.

Get ready for the Prefontaine Classic!

Expect fireworks in Stanford as world and Olympic champions including Justi...

The events to watch

The stars have come in force to Stanford with the meeting's usual home, Hayward Field in Eugene, being rebuilt to host the 2021 World Athletics Championships.

Almost every event contains a world or Olympic champion, but here's a short list of the ones to keep your eye.

Men's Pole Vault

This could be the best for many years with Sweden's 19-year-old European champion Mondo Duplantis taking on the last two Olympic champions, Thiago Braz and Renaud Lavillenie, and reigning world champ Sam Kendricks.

Hopefully we'll see at least one man go over the magic six-metre barrier, although Sergey Bubka's outdoor world record of 6.14m set back in 1989 might be a target for another day.

Find out how it all began for pole vault sensation Mondo Duplantis

18-year-old Mondo Duplantis cleared 6.05m becoming the youngest ever male a...

Women's 800m

All eyes are on Caster Semenya after she was cleared to run in Stanford just a few days ago.

The South African is the hottest of favourites as she seeks to extend her unbeaten record over two laps to 31 races.

Eight of the nine-strong field have gone sub-two minutes with home hope Ajee Wilson, who won at the Stockholm Diamond League a month ago, likely to chase Semenya home.

The 28-year-old last raced in the 2,000m at the Meeting de Montreuil near Paris nearly three weeks ago.

Afterwards, she suggested she could run distances outside the 400m to one mile bracket which would require her, should the IAAF Hyperandrogenism Regulations be enforced, to reduce her testosterone level.

Men's 400m

Could we see something special from California native Michael Norman?

The 21-year-old beat Noah Lyles in Rome earlier this month in the 200m, but now he is back over the distance he says he will focus on for this year ahead of the World Championships in Doha.

In April, he ran 43.45s at the Mt SAC relays in Torrance, California to go joint-sixth on the all-time list.

Michael Norman is a man in a hurry

The 21-year-old world indoor 400m record holder says he's impatient to buil...

Norman might not have things all his own way with fellow American Fred Kerley boasting a personal best of 43.70s.

But Wayde van Niekerk's world record of 43.03s, set at Rio 2016, is definitely in his sights.

Women's 200m

Elaine Thompson and Dina Asher-Smith have been battling for sprinting bragging rights all season, and the pair clash again in Stanford.

The Briton beat the double Olympic champion from Rio 2016 over 200m in Stockholm, but Thompson exacted revenge over 100m a week later in Rome.

Elaine Thompson: My Rio Highlights

The best moments from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Now they meet again over the longer sprint with two-time defending world champion Dafne Schippers making it far more than a two-horse race.

Two-time 100m Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce goes in the 100m which is a non-Diamond League event.

It has still attracted a strong field with reigning world champion Tori Bowie, world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and young American hopeful Sha'Carri Richardson all lining up.

Women's 3000m

This is a field worthy of a world or Olympic final with Rio 2016 10,000m gold medallist Almaz Ayana up against Kenya's 5,000m world champion Hellen Obiri.

Throw in the 1500m and 3000m world record holder Genzeba Dibaba and Dutch star Sifan Hassan, now based at the Nike Oregon Project training centre, and you have the makings of a truly exceptional race.

Men's 100m

Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman finished one and two in the 2017 World Championship 100m final ahead of the retiring Usain Bolt.

While Gatlin, now 37, has run infrequently since, Coleman has established himself as one of the leading sprinters in the world.

After a defeat to Noah Lyles in Shanghai, Coleman set the fastest time in the world this year when he scorched to victory in 9.85s in Oslo.

Britain's Zharnel Hughes, a former training partner of Bolt, could be the biggest threat to the big two while another American, Michael Rogers, could be a contender if he produces something close to his personal best of 9.85s.

Prefontaine Classic Schedule (all times PDT, GMT-7)

12:43 Men's Pole Vault (non-Diamond League event)

12:57 Women's Shot Put

13:03 Men's 400m Hurdles (non-Diamond League event)

13:08 Women's High Jump

13:11 Women's 3000m steeplechase

13:27 Women's 100m (non-Diamond League event)

13:34 Men's 2 Miles (non-Diamond League event)

13:47 Women's 800m

13:56 Men's 110m Hurdles

14:01 Men's Shot Put

14:05 Women's 3000m

14:19 Men's 400m

14:25 Women's 200m

14:31 Women's 1500m (non-Diamond League event)

14:39 Men's 100m

14:51 Men's Bowerman Mile