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Ronnie Baker, Sam Kendricks Claim Diamond League Wins In Paris

By Karen Price | July 01, 2018, 3:04 a.m. (ET)

Ronnie Baker runs to victory in the semifinals of the men's 100-meter at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships on June 22, 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa.


Ronnie Baker won his third consecutive Diamond League race, remaining undefeated in the men’s 100-meter on the circuit this season, on Saturday in Paris while tying the fastest time in the world this year and setting a new personal best.

Baker finished in just 9.88 seconds, tying the time set by Noah Lyles at last weekend’s USATF Outdoor Championships, to beat a field that included U.S. Olympians Michael Rodgers and Jeff Demps.

"I am not surprised by this time," Baker said. "The execution was not perfect, and I think if I work on the beginning of the race, it can be even faster."

Baker previously held the world leading time of 9.93 seconds, set with his winning performance in Rome in May.

He wasn’t the only American who put up a world-topping performance at the Paris stop, which is the seventh of 14 Diamond League meets this season.

Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks, who is the No. 1-ranked men’s pole vaulter in the world, set a new world leading mark in his winning performance. His jump of 5.96 meters beat Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, with whom Kendricks had already done battle in two previous Diamond League meets this season, winning once and coming in second. It was the third Diamond League win of the year for Kendricks, the reigning world champion, in addition to his win last week at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Iowa.

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Americans also earned top-threes in five other events.

Jessica Beard led a 2-3-4 U.S. women’s finish in the 400-meter. Like many of her teammates, Beard was coming off the U.S. championships last weekend, where she placed second in the 400 with a career-best 50.08. It was her highest finish ever at nationals. She was just shy of that in Paris, finishing in 50.39, behind Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, who ran a personal best 49.55. Team USA’s Phyllis Francis, the reigning world champion, was third with a time of 50.50, followed by Shakima Wimbley in 50.81.

Jenna Prandini came in second in the women’s 200-meter behind Shericka Jackson of Jamaica. Prandini, who made the semifinals in the event at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, ran the distance in 22.30 seconds, faster than the 22.62 she ran the weekend before to claim the national title.

Tori Franklin, who set an American record in May and is the reigning U.S. indoor champion, was third in the women’s triple jump with a distance of 14.49 meters.

Devon Allen, the newly crowned U.S. champion in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, having won by just two thousandths of a second last week, came in third in the event in Paris. He ran a season’s best 13.23 seconds.

Ajee Wilson, another 2016 Olympian, was third in the women’s 800-meter with a time of 1:57.11. The world bronze medalist and American record holder could not overtake South Africa’s Caster Semenya, who has not lost in the 800-meter since 2015.

The Diamond League continues July 5 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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