Isiah Young competes in the first round of the men's 200-meter at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track and FIeld at Hayward Field on July 7, 2016 in Eugene, Ore.
Isiah Young might have turned some heads on Friday.
Competing at the Diamond League meet in Monaco, the Junction City, Kansas, native gave three-time Olympic champion and world-record holder Usain Bolt all he could handle in the men’s 100-meter race.
Bolt, of Jamaica, eventually pulled out the victory with his first sub-10-second time of the year at 9.95 seconds. Just three hundreds of a second behind him, though, was Young, who finished second in 9.98.
“I’m happy I was there and so close to Bolt at the end of his great career,” said Young, 27, a 2012 U.S. Olympian.
Bolt, who has won eight Olympic gold medals since 2008, has announced that he’ll retire following this year’s world championships, which begin Aug. 4 in London.
For Young, Bolt and many others, the Monaco meet was their last competition before the world championships, and a number of U.S. athletes turned in impressive results.
Ajee Wilson set a new national record in the 800, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. South Africa’s Caster Semenya ran the fastest time in the world so far this year in the event to win in 1:55:27, a new meet record. Wilson, a 2016 Olympian for Team USA, was third in 1:55.61, busting the previous U.S. record of 1:56.40 set by Jearl Miles-Clark in August 1999.
“U.S. record? Whoa!” Wilson told a reporter after the race, when told of her achievement. “I hadn't seen the time yet. It felt so good to be competitive again. It was great.”
Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager had the fastest time in the world so far this year in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, winning in 8:01.29. That beat the previous 2017 world best of 8:04.63, set by Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto, and shattered Jager’s own season best of 8:16.88. American Stanley Kipkoech Kebenei was third with a personal-best time of 8:08.30.
“We are keeping our options open for best possible tactical plan for the worlds,” Jager said. “But one thing is clear: I’m going for gold.”
Keni Harrison and Sharika Nelvis went 1-2 in the women’s 100-meter hurdles.
Their finish couldn’t have been much closer, with Harrison winning in 12.51 followed by Nelvis in 12.52. The two have been holding down the top two qualification points for the Diamond League final and a chance to compete for the trophy, with Nelvis in the lead with 31 points followed by Harrison with 24.
Nia Ali, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, finished fourth.
Kyra Jefferson took second in the women's 200-meter, finishing in 22.42.
Vashti Cunningham, who made her Olympic debut in Rio, placed third in the women’s high jump with a best mark of 1.97 meters.