American Christian Coleman stunned world champion Noah Lyles to win the men’s 100 metres at the Diamond League final in Eugene, Oregon as Jamaican Shericka Jackson took the women’s sprint title.
Coleman missed out on the podium at the World Championships in Budapest but broke the tape in a blistering 9.83 seconds as fellow American Lyles finished second in 9.85. Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala took third.
Coleman, the 2018 Diamond League champion, exploded off the blocks and Lyles was unable to overcome a slower start.
“I was able to just find a sense of confidence and believe in myself, like I knew I was supposed to win this race,” said Coleman.
“This year I feel like I had a mental breakthrough to where I’m able to just find my stride and stick to it. And I feel like next year I’ll be able to capitalise.”
Lyles, the first male athlete since Jamaican Usain Bolt to win gold in the 100 metres, 200 and 4×100 relay at the World Championships, was all smiles after a transformative 2023.
“Of course, I want the win, but more (important) is that the crowd got to come out here and I got to be in front of them,” said Lyles.
“I was able to do a victory lap, even though I didn’t win the victory.”
Jamaican Jackson finished second at the World Championships behind American Sha’Carri Richardson but took the lead in the last half of the women’s 100 metres before breaking the tape in 10.70.
Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou finished five hundredths of a second slower and Jackson’s compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah, the back-to-back Olympic champion, took third in 10.79.
“I just wanted to come out here and execute and I think I did pretty good this evening,” said Jackson.
“I just started sprinting in 2021 and to be among these great female sprinters is a good feeling. It always help to push you.”
American Rai Benjamin got the track programme off to a roaring start as he stunned world record-holder Karsten Warholm in the 400 metres hurdles.
World champion Warholm was strong favourite after claiming three Diamond League wins this year but Benjamin finished strongly to clock 46.39 seconds, the year’s best time and fourth-fastest ever.
Norway’s Olympic champion Warholm was second in 46.53 and Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands took third in 47.31.
“Went back to my old race model, because my second half is just amazing. Just tried to channel that today and I feel like I did a really good job,” said Benjamin, who won bronze in Budapest.
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, who this year became the first woman to complete a 1,500-5,000 metres double at the World Championships, sparkled again as she won the 1,500 metres in a blistering 3:50.72.
“This was amazing, starting with the world record and now winning the trophy. It has been a fantastic year for me,” Kipyegon said.
Grenadian three-times Olympic medallist Kirani James won the men’s 400 metres in 44.30 seconds as world bronze medallist Quincy Hall of the United States finished second in 44.44.