Wayde van Niekerk’s great run of form continued at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on Thursday when he smashed Michael Johnson’s meet record for 400m with 43.62.
Racing his first 400m of the European summer season and one week after setting a world 300m best in Ostrava, the South African was level with Isaac Makwala coming into the final straight but he breezed away to win by almost half a second as Botswana duo Baboloki Thebe and Makwala ran just outside 44 seconds in second and third.
There was much British interest in the women’s 800m with Laura Muir and Lynsey Sharp. The race was missing Olympic champion Caster Semenya but nevertheless stacked with quality and all 10 finishers smashed the two-minute barrier.
After a 56.5 first lap – the same pace as last weekend’s British Team Trials men’s race – Francine Nyonsaba of Burundi blasted clear of her rivals to clock 1:56.82.
In second, Charlene Lipsey went to No.6 on the US all-time rankings with 1:57.38, just ahead of Eunice Sum of Kenya.
In the battle of the Brits, meanwhile, Muir was well adrift of the early pace and last at the bell, but despite struggling with injury recently she came through strongly in the second lap, picking off rivals, including Sharp, to finish fifth in a 1:58.69 PB ahead of Sharp’s 1:58.80 season’s best in seventh.
It puts Muir to No.8 on the UK all-time rankings and will be a great boost ahead of the Muller Anniversary Games on Sunday, where she will attack Zola Budd’s long-standing UK mile record.
Mariya Lasitskene went No.5 on the world all-time rankings in the high jump as she cleared 2.06m. One of the few Russians to be able to compete under a neutral flag, she made the most of her opportunity in Lausanne and even attempted a world record height of 2.10m in a competition that saw Britain’s Morgan Lake finish fourth with 1.93m.
Ryan Crouser has brought his terrific shot put form from the United States over to Europe and here the American Olympic champion threw over 22 metres four times with a best of 22.39m as New Zealand’s Tom Walsh was runner-up with 21.97m.
There was another great throws event – the women’s javelin – as Sara Kolak threw a Croatian record of 68.43m to go No.5 on the world all-time list and to beat world record-holder Barbora Spotakova of Germany’s 67.40m.
The pole vault also entertained the crowd in the Swiss city as Sam Kendricks and Pawel Wojciechowski cleared 5.93m as Renaud Lavillenie finished third with 5.87m. For Wojciechowski it was a Polish record but Kendricks took the victory on countback.
With the World Championships looming, there was a big triple jump clash with Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba jumping 17.60 to beat American Christian Taylor’s 17.49m.
Elsewhere Ethiopians were in fine form on the track as Aman Wote won the 1500m in 3:32.20 and Muktar Edris outkicked fellow Ethiopian Selemon Barega to win the 5000m in a fast 12:55.23.
Edris beat Mo Farah’s world leading time for 2017 and he ran a swift final kilometre of 2:28 to do it.
Genzebe Dibaba was also in fine form as she ran 4:16.05 in the mile, falling short of Svetlana Masterkova’s world record of 4:12.56.
Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands took 200m victory in 22.10 as Britain’s Bianca Williams ran 22.94 in seventh from lane one.
In the men’s 100m, Justin Gatlin led Ben Youssef Meite and Akani Simbine under 10 seconds as he won narrowly in 9.96. In fifth, James Dasaolu of Britain ran 10.12.
In the women’s hurdles, Sharika Nelvis of the United States took the 100m hurdles in 12.53 while Ashley Spencer took the one-lap race in 53.90 as Britain’s Eilidh Doyle ran a season’s best of 54.36 in third from lane one.
Ivana Spanovic of Serbia won the long jump with 6.79m. In a close competition where a few centimetres covered the top competitors, Britain’s Lorraine Ugen was fifth with 6.61m.
The home crowd also went wild when Switzerland smashed their national 4x100m record to win with 42.53.