Unique trophy deservedly goes to Americas, ICC Ostrava 2018 - Day 2

Team Americas doubled their lead during the second day and took the continental crown from defending champion, home Team Europe with 262 to 233 points. Asia-Pacific were clearly third over Africa (188 to 142 pts). Another decent efforts came on Sunday, two all-comers records and one championships record.

From gun to tape and in marvellous pace – that was 800 metres served by Caster Semenya. Africas’s middle distance star, who was second in yesterday’s 400m, shot ahead and gave no chance to her rivals. Although she eased a little between 400 a 200m to go, still she had power for a strong finish and won in Czech Republic’s all-comers record of 1:54.77. Two Americans battled for second place and it was Ajee Wilson who outrun Natoya Goule, but both in excellent times 1:57.16 and 1:57.36. They added 8 points to their team, while Africa 6, Europe 4.

Beatrice Chepkoech showed, why she is 3000 steeplechase world record holder. African star run 7 and half lap race from gun to tape and had in last lap time for celebrating her victory. Despite of a bit slowing down, she clocked 9:07.92 which is new championships’ and all-comers record. Also Americas’ Courtney Frerichs finished in decent time 9:15.22, third close behind was Africa’s Winfred Mutile Yavi (9:17.86). Americas’ won (8 pts), all other team tied for second (4 pts).

Colin Jackson believed his European successors at 110 metres hurdles, and they scored the joker their captain had bet. Despite not good start, Sergey Shubenkov was the fastest over 10 barriers in the end and won with time of 13.03. His compatriot took third place (13.31) clearly behind Americas’ Ronald Levy, who ran his season best of 13.12. Winning Europe doubled points – 16, Americas took 6, Africa 4.

Jumping star Caterine Ibargüene doubled her wins Ostrava, while being the best in her additional long jump. Americas’ team pillar was improving (almost) every attempt finishing with Colombian record of 6.93. Brooke Stratton of Asia Pacific was second, with longest jump in semi-final (6.71). European champion Malaika Mihambo only third although 6.86 in qualification. Americas tied for win with Europe (7 points), as Asia-Pacific and Africa for third (3 pts).

Another successful joker came in men’s triple jump – by Team Americas. Main star of the event, Christian Taylor was clear winner of all phases of the race with opening 17.59 being the best, 17.41 in semis and 17.31 in final. Only other over 17m was Hugues Fabrice Zango with national record of Burkina Faso in quali; he deservedly advanced to final. Team Americas scored 16 points thanks to joker, Asia-Pacific and Europe both 5 pts.

As expected, high jump was a one women show of Maria Lasitskene. European champion cleared all heights at first attempt including 1.95, then 1.97 at third and 2.00 again at first. Svetlana Radzivil jumped 1.95 for Team Asia-Pacific, Lavern Spencer 1.93 for Americas. Europe’s team took maximum 16 points with betting the joker, Asia-Pacific 6 pts, Americas 4.

Europe’s Thomas Röhler first upset Jakub Vadlejch in qualification with 86.39, although home javelin star threw his best after back injury (84.76). After moderate and lucky 80.61 in semi-final, Röhler came back with the throw of the day of 87.07 to win. Chao-Tsun Cheng of Asia-Pacific made it to final with 83.28, but that was it. Anderson Peters of Grenada was third (series best 80.86). Europe won, Asia-Pacific second, rest of teams tied for third.

Noah Lyles won the highly awaited 100 metres, just shy of 10 second barrier with 10.01. But it was upset for Team Americas, with Yohan Blake injured on track. In tight team race it was Akani Simbine in third (10.11), well behind Bingtian Su of Asia-Pacific (10.03), but both teams tied for win in event, Americas only third.

Four pole vaulters able to jump close to 6m on the startlist, but it was only Sam Kendricks of Americas who actually tried at this height. It was then, he was already confirmed winner with the only who cleared 5.85. Europe’s Renaud Lavillenie took second place with 5.80, Shawn Barber (AME) was third, and Timur Morgunov fourth (both 5.65). Americas won, Europe second, Africa third.

Another win for pre-race favourite came in men’s 400 metres. Asia-Pacific’s Abdalelah Haroun clocked in one-lap run 44.72, second Baboloki Thebe of Africa finished well back in time of 45.10, Americas’ leader Nathan Strother was closely third (45.28). Asia-Pacific scored successful joker, that means 16 points, Americas was second, Europe with Africa tied.

Although running from inside lane 1, Janieve Russell was fastest at 400m hurdles with time of 53.62. Her Americas’ teammate Shamier Little finished second in 53.86, securing clear win for their team. Their times were well behind Africa’s team captain Nezha Bidouane’s championships record (52.92), though. Europeans were third (Anna Yaroshchuk-Ryzhykova SB 54.47) and fourth, taking second team place (6 pts), remaining teams tied for third (3 pts).

What a series by hammer thrower Dilshod Nazarov of Asia-Pacific. Every attempt was better than previous on, with final throw of 77.34. Africa’s Mostafa Elgamel was surprise finalist, also his best came in fifth round – 74.22. Bence Halasz of Europe, who beat European champion Wojciech Nowicki in qualification, only third (74.19sf, 74.80q). Asia-Pacific clear winner in the event (8 points), Europe tied with Africa for second place (5 pts).

Pre-race favourite at 200m Shaunae Miller-Uibo brought to Team Americas maximum points, but it was very dramatic battle with long-leading Dafne Schippers. European star had to settle for second place (22.28) with Bahamian sprinter won with 22.16. Winner of Saturday’s 100m Marie Josée-Talou was best of the rest in tight finish of three (22.61, and only 0.01 separated them). Americas used successfully joker taking 16 points, Europe was second (6 pts), Africa third (4).

Both best javelin ladies had their best throws already in qualification, but it was fair win for Asia-Pacific’s Huihui Lyu with longest effort of the day – 63.88 – over Europe’s Christin Hussong (62.96 in third). Kara Winger of Americas third with semi-final throw of 60.38. Asia-Pacific had lucky use of joker with only one individual point ahead of Americas, Europe only third while home hope Nikola Ogrodníková only seventh with 56.61.

It was an equal race in women’s shot put with three best just shy of 20 metres. Lijao Gong of Asia-Pacific was the winner with best of 19.63 and 19.25 in final. Raven Saunders was well beaten in final but produced best of the day – 19.74. Third place for Christine Schwanitz of Europe (19.73 in series). Rare situation with all mentioned teams tied for the first place.

Men’s 3000m brought most drama in elimination races, with runners finishing in line or in pack. Americas’ representatives were the strongest in last lap, Paul Chelimo won in slow 7:57.13, Mohammed Ahmed just behind him, and Henrik Ingebrigtsen of Europe a few steps back. Team Americas took clear win (8 points), Europe second (6 pts), Africa unsuccessful with their joker tied for third.

As usual at championships, 1500m was more or less tactical race. Africa’s favourite Elijah Motonei Manangoi showed his class anyway and greeted audience with winning gesture (3:40.00). Top 5 finished in less than a second, with Europeans Marcin Lewandowski and Jakob Ingebrigtsen taking sport number 2 & 3, thus being the top team (8 points). Team Africa was second (6 pts), Asia-Pacific and Americas tied for third (3 pts).

Team Americas confirmed their overall win claiming the mixed relay. Tyler, Santos, McPherson, Miller-Uibo was the composition and their time 3:13.01. But Europe was leading when lost their baton at second handover, so Africa third second (3:16.19), Asia-Pacific third.