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Christian Coleman, Sandi Morris, Fred Kerley Victorious At Windy Diamond League In Birmingham

By Blythe Lawrence | Aug. 18, 2018, 12:42 p.m. (ET)

Christian Coleman celebrates his win in the men's 100-meter at the IAAF Diamond League on Aug. 18, 2018 in Birmingham, U.K.


Windy conditions didn’t stop Team USA track and field athletes from picking up three titles Saturday at the Muller Grand Prix, the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, England.

Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris continued her winning ways in the women’s pole vault this season, clearing 4.62 meters to beat European champion Katerina Stefanidi of Greece, who cleared 4.52.

“We had really strong winds which were difficult to deal with, but I’m happy I walked away injury-free,” Morris said. “I’m fortunate I could put some heights together. I’ll head onto the finals in good spirits. I’ve had a solid year, jumped 4.95 meters indoors and outdoors and I have confidence. I just need to hold onto my technique at the end of the season.”

After notching his first Diamond League victory in the men’s 100 last month in Morocco, 2016 Olympian Christian Coleman made a return in force, recording a season-best 9.94 seconds in a photo finish with Britain’s Reece Prescod. 2014 Youth Olympic gold medalist Noah Lyles, who won the 100-meter at the U.S. outdoor championships earlier this season, finished third in 9.98.

"It was a sigh of relief because you never know what to expect when you come back from injury and I got my rhythm back and I came out with the win in a good time,” said Coleman, who had a hamstring injury that kept him out of two Diamond League stops. “I was looking forward to competing and the win is the icing on the cake. It's been a test for me to continually prove myself, but I'll use this as a learning experience. Now it's about winning the Diamond League finals."

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In his first Diamond League win of 2018, Fred Kerley clocked 45.54 seconds in the men’s 400-meter. The 23-year-old, who helped Team USA win silver in the men’s 4x400 at last season’s worlds, leaned ahead at the tape to edge Matthew Hudson-Smith of Great Britain (45.59). Team USA’s Paul Dedewo was third (45.62), just ahead of two-time Olympic triple jump gold medalist Christian Taylor (45.78).

While nobody seemed thrilled about the times — “I don’t think any of us will be satisfied with what they just ran,” Dedewo said — Kerley saw the bright side of things. “I have to go out and finish faster and easier, which I did,” he said of his first race in two months. “The times I want will come.”

Elsewhere, Jeron Robinson was third in the men’s high jump, where he cleared 2.30 meters, tying his personal best. Australian Brandon Starc won the event with a personal best of 2.33 meters.

Freddie Crittenden ran a personal-best 13.27 seconds to finish fourth in the 110-meter hurdles, while Jenna Prandini and Gabrielle Thomas finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the women’s 200. 

Olympic champion Michelle Carter was sixth in shot put, the highest American finish in the event, while Erik Sowinski, Kate Grace and Hillary Bor were eighth in the men’s 800, women’s 1,500 and men’s 3,000 steeplechase, respectively.

Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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