By Paul D. Bowker |
May 26, 2018,
7:28 p.m. (ET)
Two-time Olympic medalists Christian Taylor and 2020 Olympic hopeful Noah Lyles put on a show Saturday in the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Taylor, who has won gold at the last two Olympics, led a one-two U.S. finish in the triple jump with three-time Olympic medalist Will Claye. They also finished one-two at the past two Games and the 2017 world championships. Taylor, who also won last year’s Prefontaine Classic, had a winning mark of 17.73 meters compared to Claye’s 17.46.
“Last one, best one, the crowd was awesome,” Taylor told NBC Sports in an interview after his winning jump. “I wanted to put on a show.”
Lyles, a 2014 Youth Olympic gold medalist in the 200-meter who set a personal best for the third time in four career Diamond League starts at that distance, won the 200 in 19.69 seconds. That ties the fastest time in the world this year and keeps him undefeated in Diamond League races.
“I’m here, and I’m here to dominate,” declared Lyles.
Other U.S. winners Saturday included 2016 Olympian Shelby Houlihan, who burst down the home stretch from the outside lane to win the women’s 1,500, and 2016 Olympic champion Ryan Crouser, who broke his own Prefontaine record in the shot put with a mark of 22.53 meters. Houlihan broke four minutes for the first time in her career with a time of 3:59.06. Reigning Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson finished third in the 1,500.
Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad settled for a runner-up in the women’s 400-meter hurdles when she was edged out by Jamaica’s Janieve Russell at the finish line with a time of 54.06 seconds. 2012 Olympian Georganne Moline of the U.S. finished third.
Also grabbing a second-place finish was 2016 Olympian Ajee Wilson in the women’s 800. South Africa’s Caster Semenya was nearly a second quicker than Wilson, winning the event in a meet-record time of 1:55.92.
Three-time Olympic medalist and reigning world champion Tori Bowie placed just fifth in the women’s 100 and limped off the track with help following the race.
Phyllis Francis, a 2016 Olympian, led a two-three-four U.S. finish with Shakima Wimbley and Jessica Beard in the women’s 400-meter behind Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas.
Evan Jager, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, had a third-place finish in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and 2016 Olympian Devon Allen finished third in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, while 2012 Olympic champion Aries Merritt was fifth.
The next Diamond League stop is May 31 in Rome.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.