TEMPE, Ariz. — Bralon Taplin, Andre De Grasse and Hua Wilfried Koffi were all in impressive form at the Sun Angel Track Classic 2016 at Sun Angel Stadium in Arizona on Saturday (9).
De Grasse comfortably won the men’s Premiere 200m, while Taplin took the 400m and Koffi landed the 100m Premiere titles.
TAPLIN SHOWS GOOD FORM
In the men’s 400m, IAAF World Indoor Championships fourth place finisher, Bralon Taplin of Grenada, set a meeting and venue record and world-leading time of 44.41 seconds to dominate that event.
Taplin, who was left disappointed at not winning a medal at Portland 2016 when he went in as the favourite, took over race with 150m left and then powered home ahead of Fred Kerley of Texas A&M (45.10) and Chris Giesting (45.88).
The Grenadian bettered the 45.15 which was set by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala earlier in the day.
DE GRASSE AT A COMFORTABLE CRUISE
running from lane five with the faster entrants, got off the corner with the pack, but eased away to victory while looking from side-to-side in a time of 20.23 (+0.5) seconds.
The IAAF World Championships 100m bronze medallist from Beijing, last year, just missed breaking the meeting record of 20.21 seconds, set in 1999 by Coby Miller, who was representing Auburn at the time.
Saturday’s performance sees De Grasse, who won the 100m and 200m sprint double at the 2015 Pan American Championships, joining American LaShawn Merritt as the second fastest runners over the half lap this season.
Finishing second to the 21-year-old Canadian on Saturday was Devin Jenkins of Texas A&M in 20.39, with Jose Carlos Herrera picking up third in 20.41.
KOFFI GOING QUICK TOO
There was some quick sprinting in the men’s 100m dash Premiere race as well, with Hua Wilfried Koffi of the Ivory Coast flashing to a personal best and meeting record equalling time of 10.01 (+1.1) seconds en route to victory.
His time also tied for the third fastest this early season behind South Africa’s Akani Simbine’s 9.96secs.
American Ameer Webb also lowered his personal best by 0.01 seconds when finishing second to Koffi in 10.03. Jenkins was in impressive form as well after finishing third in the 100m in a time of 10.22 to go with his runner-up placing in the 200m.
Former World Junior and World Youth champion Jodie Williams of Great Britain captured the women’s 200m with a time of 22.99 seconds, out-pacing Mahagon Jones (23.02) and Aaliyah Brown of Texas A&M (23.29).
Texas A&M’s Shamier Little won the first of the two heats in 23.25 and was third overall.
There were some quality running as well in the middle distance, as BYU’s Shaquille Walker produced a very impressive 1:44.99 to take the men’s 800m Premiere.
This is the fourth fastest time in the world this year and was both a meeting and venue record.
BYU’s Shea Collinsworth won the women’s 800m in 2:03.21, while American Jeshua Anderson won the men’s 400m hurdles with a world-leading time of 48.92, removing the previous world-leading mark of 49.27 by Japan’s Keisuke Nozawa, which was set on April 1.