Baker dominates Coleman again to win 100m in Rome

A late acceleration helped the U. S. 60m indoor champion power to a new personal and season best 9.93sec.

Ronnie Baker wins the men's 100m event of the IAAF Diamond League 2018 at the Comunal Stadio Olimpico in Rome.   -  AFP

Ronnie Baker sprinted to a second men's 100m triumph in less than a week, winning the Rome Diamond League meet on Thursday as US rival Christian Coleman faded to fourth.

A late acceleration saw the U. S. 60m indoor champion power to a new personal and season best 9.93sec with France's Jimmy Vicaut second in 10.02 and Italy's Filippo Tortu snatching third place in 10.04.

Coleman, the world silver medallist, complained of a leg problem and pulled up towards the end.

“Today was definitely a confidence booster, to have two wins in two races under my belt is great but I know I have to keep working hard,” said Baker.

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Baker had beaten Coleman last Sunday with a wind-aided 9.78 in Eugene as the battle heats up for men's 100m supremacy in the post-Usain Bolt era.

“Every race is anybody's race, it's never a definite between myself and Christian,” said 24-year-old Baker.

“I was third here last year so to win is super exciting, to run a personal is amazing for me.

“It's really exciting that things are starting to click together.

“My next race is the US champs in two weeks. I always feel nervous with these huge crowds but I hope to make and win the Diamond League final.”

Qatar's Abderrahaman Samba also shone in the fourth round of the Diamond League series as he confirmed his recent form with a blistering time in the men's 400m hurdles.

Samba, a 22-year-old who previously competed for Mauritania, added to his win in Doha, with a a new Diamond League and Asian record time of 47.48, leaving Norway's world champion Karsten Warholm trailing second in 47.82.

America's Georganne Moline also set a scorching pace for a season's best 53.97sec in the women's 400m hurdles.

“Finally I am in the race for the diamonds!” said Moline after recapturing the event she won back in 2015.

She spoilt Janieve Russell's bid for a third Rome title with the Jamaican, who won in Eugene last week, second in 54.08.

Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad was third in 54.65.

'Bad luck day'

South Africa's Luvo Manyonga won a battle in the men's long jump with 8.58 metres to edge out Cuba's Juan Miguel Echevarria, as Russia's two-time world champion Mariya Lasitskene, competing as a neutral, continued her domination of the women's high jump winning in 2.02 metres.

Olympic champion Brianna McNeal crashed in the women's 100m hurdles after her wins in Doha and Shanghai.

American Sharika Nelvis won in 12.76 to complete her set after silver in Shanghai and bronze in Doha, with Jamaica's Danielle Williams second (12.82) as McNeal trailed in ninth.

Kenya reigned supreme in the middle distance events completing podium sweeps in both the men's 800m and the women's 3,000m steeplechase, and going 1-2 in the men's 1500m and steeplechase.

In the women's steeplechase US world champion Emma Coburn started strong leading her rivals but fell allowing Kenyan trio of Hyvin Kiyeng, Celliphine Chepteek Chespol and Norah Jeruto to race to the top three spots respectively.

“Had I not fallen I would have won,” said Coburn who trailed in fourth. “It was just a back luck day.”

“I feel good about my win even more as this is my first race of the season,” said former world champion Kiyeng.

American world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks claimed back-to-back wins after Eugene with a season's best 5.84 metres.

World 100m and 200m women's silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou moved up from the 100m win in Eugene, winning the 200m with as season's best 22.49sec.

Commonwealth champion Fedrick Dacres of Jamaica was the surprise winner of the men's discus with a throw of 68.51 metres.

The 24-year-old from Kingston left Lithuania's world champion Andrius Gudzius trailing in second with 68.17.

Germany's Robert Harting, the 2012 Olympic champion, was fifth-best, with four-time Diamond Trophy winner Piotr Malachowski of Poland ninth.

Croatia's two-time world and Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic won the women's discus for the 40th Diamond League victory of her career and third here in Rome.

“I'm proud to be the most successful athlete in Diamond League history,” added Perkovic, 27, who remains on track to win the Diamond League title in her discipline for the seventh year.

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