Thursday, August 22, 2013
Merritt wins 400 meters in Stockholm meet
STOCKHOLM -- LaShawn Merritt won the 400 meters at the DN Galan Diamond League meet Thursday in his first major race since regaining his world title last week.
Merritt won in 44.69 seconds, more than a half-second ahead of Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic, the bronze medalist at Moscow. Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic was third.
"I still feel like I'm in top form. I've put in the work to last the whole season," said Merritt, who ran the fastest time of the season to win the world title Aug. 13. He also won the world title in 2009.
Other world champions carried their winning form to Stockholm.
Before a crowd of 12,814, David Oliver of the United States won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.21 seconds, 0.14 seconds ahead of Sergey Shubenkov of Russia.
And Svetlana Shkolina of Russia repeated her triumph from Moscow in the high jump, winning at 6-foot-6 and recording fewer misses than countrywoman Anna Chicherova. Another Russian, Mariya Kuchina, was third.
Sweden's Emma Green Tregaro, who competed during qualifying heats in Moscow with rainbow fingernails in support of gay rights, did so again in Stockholm.
"Now I mostly just did it because it felt boring not to do it," she said after finishing sixth Thursday.
Green Tregaro competed with red nails in the finals at the worlds after track officials said she might be in violation of the meet's code of conduct. The rainbow gesture had prompted Russian pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva to complain that Green Tregaro was showing disrespect to the host country. Russia recently introduced an anti-gay "propaganda" law.
Kerron Stewart of Jamaica won the women's 100 meters in 11.24 seconds, edging Alexandria Anderson of the U.S. by 0.01 seconds. Barbara Pierre of the U.S. was third, 0.05 seconds behind.
Three athletes earned a 1-carat diamond during the early part of the program after setting Olympic Stadium records. The venue was used for the 1912 Summer Games.
Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic won the women's 400 hurdles in 53.70 seconds. She was followed by Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica and Dalilah Muhammad of the U.S.
Four-time world champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the women's shot put with a throw of 66 feet, 7 1/4 inches, breaking her stadium record from last year. Russia's Mariya Abakumova set a venue mark in the women's javelin -- 225 feet.
In a field with no big names, Serhiy Smelyk of Ukraine won the men's 200 in 20.54 seconds, 0.04 seconds ahead of Jaysuma Saidy Ndure of Norway. Jamaica's Rasheed Dwyer was 0.1 seconds back in third.
In the distance events, Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti won the 1,500 meters in 3 minutes, 33.59 seconds, ahead of Silas Kiplagat and Nixon Kiplimo Chepseba of Kenya. World champion Asbel Kiprop finished sixth.
Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya won the women's 800 meter in 1:58.84, edging Alysia Montano of the U.S. and Malika Akkaoui of Morocco. Abeba Aregawi, the 1,500 world champion from Sweden, placed sixth.