Athletics News

Suzhou DL Women — Long-Throwing Americans

Suzhou DL Women — Long-Throwing Americans

The DL shot champion the last two seasons, Chase Jackson got off the mark for 2024 with a victory. (MATTHEW QUINE FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG)

SUZHOU, CHINA, April 27 — It was a good day for the Americans in the throws at the Shanghai/Suzhou Diamond League stop, as both Chase Jackson (shot) and Valarie Allman (discus) overcame strong Chinese competition (plus Canadian, in Jackson’s case).

Jackson lofted the ball out to 65-8¾ (20.03) in the second round, becoming the first 20 meters-plus outdoor thrower of the year (three others did it indoors). Her 65-3½ (19.90) in the sixth also would have taken the win. She topped Canada’s Sarah Mitton (65-2/19.86) and China’s Jiayuan Song (65-0¾/19.83) and Olympic champ Lijiao Gong (64-4/19.61).

“I have been working on new stuff, which could have gone one way or the other, so I’m pleased to win,” Jackson said. “I’ve been away from home for 6 weeks so I take a lot of confidence from today. To throw 20 meters this early in the season, and for it to feel nice and easy is good leading into the Olympics.”

Allman dominated the non-Diamond League platter with five tosses that could have been the winner. The best was her fifth-round 229-2 (69.86), convincingly ahead of 2022 world champ Bin Feng of China (220-2/67.11) and 2019 world champ Yaimé Pérez (215-2/65.59) — still officially Cuba affiliated despite defecting to the U.S. after the Eugene Worlds.

In the javelin, Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi pulled a sixth-round rabbit out of her hat, just like she did in Budapest last year for the world title. Her 206-7 (62.97) claimed the same two victims as Budapest but in reverse order: Australia’s Mackenzie Little (203-9/62.12) and Colombia’s Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado (199-1/60.70).

The 100 hurdles attracted perhaps more attention — mostly due to unfortunate circumstance and a false start.

Who won? Your answer might depend on how you feel about World Athletics’ 0.1-second gun-jumping rule — though the science behind the rule is solid.

On the first try, Nigerian World Record holder Tobi Amusan clocked 0.093 out of the blocks, violating the rule. The start was delayed a second time when American Alaysha Johnson raised her hand.

Once the race finally began, Amusan ran under protest, apparently claiming there was excessive noise at the start. After a slow start, she reeled in Puerto Rican Olympic champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and Bahamian world indoor champ Devynne Charlton.

Looking at the finish photo,…

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