Semenya finishes 6th in Lausanne as Houlihan wins 1,500
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Caster Semenya failed to hit the heights of the last time she competed in a 1,500-meter race as she finished sixth in a Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, just a stone’s throw away from where her legal battle over the IAAF’s female classification regulations will be fought at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The race on Thursday was won by Shelby Houlihan of the United States, who ran a personal best of 3 minutes, 57.34 seconds to beat Britain’s Laura Muir, who clocked a season best of 3:58.18.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands was third in 3:58.39.
Semenya, who set a South African national record of 3:59.92 in Doha in May, was more than three seconds slower than Houlihan, with a time of 4:00.44.
The IAAF has ruled female runners too high in natural testosterone can’t race in track events from the 400 to the mile unless they take medication. It comes into effect in November, but Semenya has challenged the rule at CAS.
Semenya won the 800 meters in Paris last week with a national record. In her absence, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi — who was second in Paris — triumphed in 1:57.80, beating American Ajee Wilson and Ethiopian Habitam Alemu.
Elsewhere, Abderrahman Samba of Qatar won his sixth successive 400 hurdles with a time of 47.42, edging out world champion Karsten Warholm and Yasmani Copello.
It was an American one-two in the men’s 200 with Noah Lyles running a personal best and world-leading 19.69 to edge out Michael Norman. Alex Quinonez of Ecuador was third.
World and Olympic champion Christian Taylor of the U.S. narrowly won the triple jump with a leap of 17.62 meters, just one centimeter further than Portuguese rival Pedro Pablo Pichardo. American Chris Benard was third with 16.92.
In the women’s 400 hurdles, American Shamier Little clocked 53.41 to narrowly beat Janieve Russell despite the Jamaican running a personal best of 53.46. Georganne Moline was third in 53.90, ahead of Olympic champion and fellow American Dalilah Muhammad.
Another American, Gabrielle Thomas, won the women’s 200.
Sergey Shubenkov, the 2015 world champion, bounced back from the disappointment of disqualification in Paris to win the 110 hurdles in 12.95. American Devon Allen was second in 13.29, 0.01 ahead of Pascal Martinot-Lagarde.
World 100 and 200 silver medalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast won the women’s 100, edging out Jamaican Elaine Thompson — the Olympic champion in both disciplines. American Jenna Prandini was third, just ahead of double world 200 champion Dafne Schippers.
Birhanu Balew, who was born in Ethiopia but represents Bahrain, won the men’s 5,000 with a personal best and world leading 13:01.09. Eight of the nine top finishers ran season bests or personal bests.
In the women’s 400, Bahrain’s 20-year-old Salwa Nasser beat Americans Jessica Beard and Shakima Wimbley.
In the absence of world high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim through injury, Danil Lysenko triumphed with a season-best 2.37, ahead of Australian Brandon Stark and American Jeron Robinson, who both jumped 2.29.
Olympic and world champion Katerina Stefanidi of Greece won the women’s pole jump ahead of American Jennifer Suhr and Anzhelika Sidorova. All three cleared 4.82 but Stefanidi did so on her first attempt.
Other winners included New Zealand’s world shot put champion Tom Walsh, Malaika Mihambo of Germany in the women’s long jump, and Nikola Ogrodnikova of the Czech Republic in the women’s javelin.
Switzerland won the women’s 4x100 relay with a national record of 42.29.