Sam Kendricks was the man to beat in pole vault heading into the Diamond League Final on Thursday in Zurich, Switzerland, and no one could rise to the task.
The newly crowned world champion kept his 2017 winning streak alive with a gold medal in the pole vault final, clearing 5.87 meters on his first try. Piotr Lisek and Pawel Wojciechowski, who finished behind him, could not match the height, giving Kendricks his 12th victory in his 12th meet entered this season.
Kendricks cleared 5.95 meters to win gold at the world championships earlier this month in London, and won a U.S. championship clearing 6.00 meters in June. The Oxford, Mississippi, native also won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
A number of other U.S. athletes made the podium in the first of two Diamond League Finals meets.
Gil Roberts (44.54) and Vernon Norwood (45.01) finished second and third, respectively, in the men’s 400-meter.
In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, Sharika Nelvis took second place with a time of 12.55 seconds, followed by Christina Manning with a time of 12.67 seconds.
In the men’s 100-meter, Ronnie Baker took third place with a time of 10.01 seconds, followed by recently crowned world champion Justin Gatlin in fourth (10.04) and Isiah Young in fifth (10.10). It was Gatlin’s first individual race since the world championships.
Jarrion Lawson finished third in the long jump with a distance of 8.12 meters.
The Diamond League Finals continue on Sept. 1 in Brussels, Belgium.