South Africa's Prudence Segkodiso Surprises with 1:57.70 800m World Lead in Marrakesh

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Prudence Segkodiso, a 22-year-old South African, surprised everyone by winning her first Diamond League race in Marrakesh with a world-leading time and a new personal best of 1:57.26. She triumphed over Ethiopia's Habitam Alemu, who finished second in 1:57.70, and 38-year-old Noelle Yarigo, who came in third with a time of 1:59.96.

Segkodiso expressed her joy: "I am over the moon. I feel like crying. I did not expect to run so fast. Winning was in my mind but not with such a fast time. It’s crazy fast. I am so proud of myself tonight. Achieving a world lead and a PB is just amazing. I cannot say that this performance will change something for me in terms of goals and expectations. At the Olympic Games, I will try to reach the final. I want to be in the best eight. My next race will be in Nancy. Then I will run in the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm."

Women’s 200 Metres

Double world champion and last year’s Diamond League winner Shericka Jackson from Jamaica won for the second consecutive year in Marrakesh with a time of 22.82, beating Maboundou Koné from Ivory Coast (22.96).

Jackson commented: "I think it was a pretty good race for my seasonal debut. The time is what it is. I tried to focus on my technique and execution. I think I did well. For me, it’s the start of the season. I don’t know about the next race. It is too early to talk about the events I will do at the Paris Olympics."

Men’s Discus Throw

World record holder Mykolas Alekna won his first Diamond League event with a throw of 70.70m in the fourth round. Alekna also had valid throws of 69.94m, 67.44m, and 68.18m. Last year's Diamond League winner, Matthew Denny from Australia, finished second with a throw of 67.74m, beating Olympic champion Daniel Stahl from Sweden (67.49m) and Traves Smikle from Jamaica (66.04m).

Alekna commented: "It’s a great feeling to win this event. My goal is to keep throwing above 70 meters. My next competition is in Oslo. After that, I will start my preparation for the Olympic Games in Paris, where my objective is to win the gold medal."

Men’s 3000 Metres Steeplechase

Olympic and world champion Soufiane El Bakkali from Morocco won the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase for the third consecutive year at the Mohammed VI meeting with a seasonal best of 8:09.40. He edged out Ethiopia's Getnet Wale (8:09.78) in a closely contested race. Amos Serem from Kenya finished third in 8:10.82, followed by world under-20 silver medallist Samuel Firewu (8:11.73).

El Bakkali reflected: "As I stated yesterday in the press conference, I suffered from an injury which stopped me from participating in many events. This year is very important for me, but the injury came at a very bad time. I was hesitant to participate today but eventually decided with my coach to run. I am so happy for winning in front of my supporters as winning at home always has a different taste. I would like to thank my parents, my coach, and the Moroccan Federation for their support throughout my injury."

Men’s 800 Metres

Reigning Diamond League champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi won the men’s 800 metres with a time of 1:43.84. Wycliffe Kinyamal finished second for the third time in this Diamond League season with a time of 1:43.98. Yanis Meziane from France finished third in 1:44.13, narrowly beating Tshepiso Maselela from Botswana. Ben Pattison finished fifth with a time of 1:44.75.

Women’s High Jump

European under-20 champion Angelina Topic set a Serbian record and a personal best by clearing 1.98m on her third attempt. Christina Honsel from Germany finished second with a seasonal best of 1.91m.

Topic shared her excitement: "I have been trying to clear that height for a long time, so I am really happy. It’s now the start of the season, so I can only imagine what comes next."

Women’s Pole Vault

Angelica Moser from Switzerland cleared 4.73m on her third attempt to win her first Diamond League competition in the women’s pole vault. Moser also cleared 4.45m and 4.55m on her first attempts and 4.65m on her second. Italian record holder Roberta Bruni cleared 4.65m on her second attempt to finish runner-up, just one day after winning in Pamplona with a 4.61m jump. World Championships finalist Elisa Molinarolo from Italy and 2016 Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi shared third place with a height of 4.55m.

Moser said: "I am obviously very happy tonight. This is my first competition of the season, and I could win for the first time in my life in the Diamond League. It’s a very good start and a very interesting performance in this important season with the European Championships and the Olympics to come. The conditions here were not very easy. We had to fight against the wind. I had to be very patient and wait for a window to jump with not too much wind."

Men’s Triple Jump

Lazaro Martinez from Cuba won with a meeting record and a seasonal best of 17.10m in the third round. There were no changes in the Final 3. Olympic champion Pedro Pichardo from Portugal took second place with 16.92m in the fourth round. Almir Dos Santos from Brazil placed third with 16.90m.

Men’s 100 Metres

Emmanuel Eseme from Camerun edged past André De Grasse and Jeremiah Azu in lane eight to win his first Diamond League race in 10.11 into a headwind of -0.8 m/s De Grasse placed second in 10.19 ahead of Azu (10.25). 

Eseme shared his delight: "I am so delighted to win this race, especially against big names like André De Grasse and Yohan Blake. During the race, I focused on my lane and did not look at my opponents. I am happy to be in Morocco, and it is great to organize such big events in Africa as they reflect a positive image of this continent. Now I will keep training for the next scheduled Diamond League events and eventually get ready for the Olympics."

Women’s Shot Put

Double world champion Chase Ealey set a meeting record of 20.00m in the second round of the women’s shot put, marking her second win in the Diamond League this year after her triumph in Suzhou. World indoor silver medallist Yemisi Ogunleye finished runner-up with a throw of 19.40m, narrowly beating world indoor silver medallist Sarah Mitton from Canada by four centimeters.

Women’s 400 Metres Hurdles

Rushell Clayton from Jamaica won the women’s 400 metres hurdles in 53.98, holding off her compatriot Shiann Salmon, who finished in 54.27.

Clayton remarked: "I am very happy as it was a pretty good race, but there are still some things to fix in the hurdling. This is the second race of the season and the second time I ran under 54 seconds, so I am very satisfied. My next race will be in Oslo."

Women’s 5000 Metres

Ethiopia’s Medina Eisa won her first Diamond League race in the women’s 5000 metres with a time of 14:34.16, narrowly defeating Foyten Tesfay by 0.05 seconds in a close sprint finish. Edinah Jebitok from Kenya took third place with a time of 14:34.64.

Men’s 400 Metres

World indoor champion Alexander Doom from Belgium set a personal best of 44.51 to win the men’s 400 metres, beating Commonwealth Games champion Muzala Samukonga from Zambia (44.54), Botswana’s Bayapo Ndori (44.59), Lythe Pillay from South Africa (44.78), and Emmanuel Bamidele from Nigeria (44.88).

Men’s 1500 Metres

Moroccan-born Azzedine Habz won the men’s 1500 metres with a seasonal best of 3:32.86, beating George Mills (3:33.47), Elliot Giles (3:33.50), and Lamecha Girma (3:33.54).

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