STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross was pushed to the limit by Botswana’s Amantle Montsho before coming through to win the women’s 400 metres at the DN Gala Diamond League meeting yesterday.
American Richards-Ross took the lead from Montsho in the closing stage of the race to win in 49.89 seconds. Montsho finished on 50.03, with Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu taking third in 50.77.
“I feel good. Coming back for a race like this after the Olympics, you can feel physically and emotionally drained,” Richards-Ross said. “But it went pretty well. And the atmosphere was fantastic.”
Earlier, American Michael Tinsley beat Olympic champion Felix Sanchez into second place in the 400-metre hurdles, clocking 48.50 seconds. Dominican Sanchez, who had beaten Tinsley to the gold medal at the London Games, finished 0.43 behind while Jamaican Leford Green was third in 48.97.
Sanchez, who only arrived in Stockholm from his home country yesterday, felt he couldn’t have done much better in the circumstances.
“My legs are really tired and I didn’t get out well at all,” he said. “My stride pattern was all messed up, so I was happy to come second. I haven’t been in Stockholm for 24 hours. My body is on autopilot right now.”
Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor of the United States managed 17.11 metres to win his event. Ukraine’s Sheryf El Sheryf was second with 17.04 and Russian Lyukman Adams took third with 16.93.
“It went wonderful,” Taylor said. “My hopes were high and every time I compete I try to go over that 17-metre barrier... obviously I’m on a high from the Olympic Games and I am just so blessed to have a wonderful coach, and winning this has been the icing on the cake.”
Shot put star Valerie Adams, coming off the New Zealander’s second Olympic gold in London, dominated her event, throwing 20.26 metres. Russian Yevgenia Kolodko was second with her 19.08-metre throw, while Germany’s Christina Schwanitz was third with 18.72.
“The goal was to win, that’s always the goal,” Adams said.
Croatia’s Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic set a new meeting record, winning her event with a 68.77-metre throw. Russian Darya Pischalnikova was second (66.85) and German Nadine Muller third (65.07).
In the women’s 200 metres, with Olympic champion Allyson Felix not taking part, American Charonda Williams won in 22.82 seconds. Her compatriot Bianca Knight was second in 22.86 and Ukraine’s Mariya Ryemyen took third with 22.94.
In the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase, Olympic champion Yuliya Zaripova of Russia set the season’s best, outclassing her opponents to win in nine minutes, 5.2 seconds. Tunisian Habiba Ghribi was second (9:10.36) and Ethiopian Etenesh Diro Neda third (9:14.07).
American Ryan Bailey won the men’s 100 metre race in 9.93 seconds. Jamaicans Nesta Carter (10.6) and Michael Frater (10.12) finished second and third, respectively.
2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper won the women’s 100 metre hurdles, finishing in 12.65 seconds, ahead of fellow American Kellie Wells (12.76) and Bulgarian Alina Talay (12.79). Jamaica’s Brigitte Foster-Hylton finished way down the field in seventh.
In the women’s pole vault, Olympic champion Jennifer Suhr failed miserably, not clearing a single height; the American missed 4.55 on all three attempts.