Jacobs proves form with 100m win in Turku

Jacobs proves form with 100m win in Turku
Fecha de publicación: 
19 June 2024
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Italy’s Marcell Jacobs stormed ahead on his path to Paris, running his fastest ever 100m outside of the Olympic Games at the Paavo Nurmi Games – a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting – in Turku on Tuesday (18).

The Olympic champion was one of multiple global gold medallists who made their mark in Finland's oldest city, as 2016 Olympic champion Omar McLeod continued his comeback with a 110m hurdles win and 2019 world champion Nia Ali dipped for victory in the 100m hurdles. Olympic and world champion Neeraj Chopra launched himself to top spot in the javelin, while Nina Kennedy soared to pole vault victory and her fellow world champion Camryn Rogers won against a strong hammer field.

In a battle of Olympic champions, it was Jacobs who made the strongest statement as he dipped under 10 seconds in both his heat and final, winning the 100m final in 9.92 (1.5m/s). As he continues his preparations for an Olympic 100m title defence in Paris in August, Jacobs achieved the third fastest time of his career – the 29-year-old having only ever gone quicker en route to his Olympic gold in Tokyo.

Jacobs – who won his heat in Turku in 9.99 – led an Italian one-two, as he was chased home by Chituru Ali in 9.96 for the first sub-10 second run of his career. Canada’s Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse was third in 10.00.

"Before today I was a bit worried that I hadn't run under 10 seconds yet (this season), but it’s part of the game and now I have done it twice," said Jacobs. "In the heats I had a really good start, the last part was average. In the final it was the other way around, so now we need to put the pieces together."

McLeod and Ali also achieved wins in both rounds of the sprint hurdles. After taking much of 2023 off, Jamaica’s McLeod said he felt what it was like to run fast again as he won his 110m hurdles heat in 13.29 and final in 13.25 (1.4m/s) to finish clear ahead of Belgium’s Elie Bacari in a 13.38 PB.

The women’s 100m hurdles final was much closer. After taking her heat in 12.51, USA’s Ali returned to pip Nadine Visser in the final – 12.48 (1.6m/s) to an equal PB of 12.51 for Visser. There was disappointment for Jasmine Camacho-Quinn in the heats, however, as the Olympic champion pulled up and then hobbled off the track.

As usual at the Paavo Nurmi Games, the men’s javelin demanded lots of attention, and this time India’s Chopra got the win. Second to Finland’s Oliver Helander in 2022, Chopra turned the tables and triumphed with a best of 85.97m from the third round. Helander was third with 83.96m as his compatriot Toni Keranen threw a PB of 84.19m to split them.

Kennedy needed just five attempts to get to her eventual winning mark of 4.80m in the pole vault. Opening with a first-time clearance of 4.41m, the Australian passed to 4.61m and also managed that on her first try. She needed two goes at 4.73m but then cleared 4.80m at the first time of asking before three unsuccessful attempts at a world lead of 4.87m.

Lene Retzius and Alysha Newman both cleared 4.61m for second and third, respectively.

Rogers surpassed 73 metres twice in the hammer, recording her best of 73.36m in the first round. She backed it up with 73.33m in the third. Finland’s 2021 world U20 champion Silja Kosonen was second with 71.67m while it took Katrine Koch Jacobsen’s second-best throw to decide third from fourth. Jacobsen’s best matched the top mark achieved by Olympic champion and world record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk, as they both threw 70.57m.

Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts was another athlete who had the win wrapped up after just one attempt. The two-time world triple jump silver medallist jumped 14.17m (1.1m/s) in round one before 14.14m in round two and won by nine centimetres ahead of Dariya Derkach, whose 14.08m was wind-aided (3.1m/s).

Ella Junnila delighted the home fans early on with her win in the high jump. In clearing 1.97m on her first attempt, she added a centimetre to her national record, achieved the Olympic qualifying mark and finished ahead of 2022 world champion Eleanor Patterson, runner-up on 1.94m.

There was further Olympic qualification and national record success in the men’s 800m.

Sweden’s Andreas Kramer led the 800m from gun to tape and eventually punched his way to victory, narrowly holding off Ireland’s Mark English to win in 1:44.65. English was rewarded with a PB of 1:44.69, taking 0.02 off his national record and beating the qualification mark for Paris by 0.01.

Ireland also celebrated a win in the men’s 1500m, won by Cathal Doyle in a PB of 3:34.09 ahead of his compatriot Luke McCann in 3:34.32. A series of PBs followed, including a national record of 3:35.20 by Finland’s Joonas Rinne in front of home fans. That improved the record of 3:36.33 that had stood to Pekka Vasala since 1972, the year he won his Olympic title.

In the women’s 800m, Gabriela Gajanova – fresh from her European silver medal win in Rome – surged around race leader Eveliina Maattanen, who was looking for a win on home soil. Maattanen was unable to respond and Gajanova got the win in 1:59.57.

Ethiopia’s Abraham Seme dominated the men’s 3000m steeplechase, winning by more than four seconds in 8:17.22, while the 400m hurdles races were won by Rasmus Magi in 48.42 and Kemi Adekoya in 54.37.

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