Michael Norman may not have beat his own world’s best time this season in the men’s 400-meter, but he did lead an American sweep in the event at the Diamond League stop Tuesday in Stockholm.
Norman was one of nine U.S. track and field athletes who finished top-three, including four who scored wins, in this third stop in the series.
The men’s 400 was one of most anticipated races of the day, primarily because Norman has been on fire to start this season. After he posted the sixth-fastest time in the history of the event at 43.45 seconds in late April, some believed his Diamond League debut in the 400-meter might end in an even faster time, perhaps even dropping below 43 seconds.
That didn’t happen, but the 21-year-old Norman did win with a time of 44.53, beating out training partner and USC roommate Rai Benjamin, who was second with a time of 45.13. Fellow Americans Michael Cherry and Vernon Norwood finished third and fourth in 46.30 and 46.39 for a concentration of red, white and blue crossing the finish line in the lead.
“A long way to worlds just yet,” Norman said afterward. “I’ll continue working hard with my coach, and we’ll see where that gets me.”
Keni Harrison and Sharika Nelvis made it a 1-2 U.S. finish in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Harrison won with a time of 12.52 seconds, just off her world-leading time of 12.47 seconds set earlier this month, while Nelvis finished in a season’s-best time of 12.69 seconds.
Olympian Ajee Wilson was the champion in the women’s 800-meter, clocking on at 2:00.87. The next closest finisher was Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu in 2:01.26. American Raevyn Rogers was fourth.
Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks made it two-for-two in the men’s pole vault, following up his win in Doha, Qatar, in the Diamond League season opener with a best jump of 5.72 meters for the win. That didn’t match the 5.80 meters that the reigning world champion cleared in Doha but it was enough for him to top 2017 world silver medalist Piotr Lisek of Poland, who cleared a season’s best 5.60 meters.
Jeff Henderson came away with third place in the men’s long jump with a best jump of 8.09 meters. Henderson still holds the world lead this year after jumping 8.38 meters in late April.
Rounding out the top U.S. performances, TJ Holmes took second place in the men’s 400-meter hurdles to close out the competition. His time of 49.25 seconds was behind only Karsten Warholm of Norway, who finished in 47.85 seconds.
The Diamond League schedule continues on June 6 in Rome.