By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post
EUGENE, Ore. - The 2023 Diamond League track season has come to a close, but not before two more world records fell at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field Sunday. Mondo Duplantis reset his world pole vault record, and Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay smashed the women's 5,000m record. No world records were broken but three national records fell in the women's 800m run late in the day.
In that event, U.S. national champion Athing Mu failed to collect enough Diamond League points to qualify for the finals. As the national champion, however, she was invited to Sunday's race that included 2023 world champion Mary Moraa of Kenya and world silver medalist and world leader Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain. Mu reset her national record for the win in 1:54.97, followed by Hodgkinson in 1:55.19 and Jamaica's Natoya Goule-Toppin in third in 1:55.96, both national records.
As a wild card invite, Mu will collect the $40,000 cash prize for winning the race. The 21-year-old Hodgkinson will keep the Diamond League championship trophy.
"I feel like the losses are for a reason, the wins are for a reason," Hodgkinson said. "I've broken the national record twice in one season. Obviously, I would have liked to have won Budapest, and maybe I could have changed a few things about that race, but it happened for a reason. We just move on to Paris next year, which is the big one."
Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won Saturday's 1,500m title but was not in Saturday's 5,000m race as the world record holder. Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay took that title from Kipyegon, nearly becoming the first woman to ever run a sub 14-minute 5K. Tsegay smashed Kipyegon's world record by five seconds for the win in 14:00.21. Kenyan Beatrice Chebet just missed Kipyegon's former record with a second-place finish in 14:05.92.
Duplantis continues to grow the pole vault record. He added two centimeters to his latest record Sunday to reset the world mark at 6.23m (20 feet, 5.25 inches). Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines finished second at 5.82m, and American Sam Kendricks was one of three vaulters to clear the bar at 5.72m for third.
A battle broke out for the women's high jump title first thing Sunday morning. Ukraine's reigning world champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Australia's Nicola Olyslagers each cleared the bar at 2.03m (6 feet, 8 inches). Mahuchikh won with fewer failed attempts. That height is the best in the world this year.
Kenya's Emmanuel Wanyonyi won the 800m run in 1:42.80 to set a new Pre Classic record and take the world lead. Canada's Marco Arop set a national record for second place in 1:42.85.
Australia's Matthew Denny finished fourth in the discus at the Worlds in Budapest. He reached 68.43m on his final throw of the season to take the Diamond League title from Slovakia's Kristjan Ceh, who finished second at 67.64m. On the women's side, America's Valarie Allman is the reigning Olympic and U.S. champion, but she finished second in Budapest. Her first throw Sunday of 68.66m was good enough for the win over America's world champion Laulauga Tausaga by 0.3m.
"While there's no place like home," Allman told the crowd, "there's no place like Hayward."
Norway's Jakob Ingebrigsten just missed the world mile record Saturday, but he propelled Yared Nuguse to that record. He did it again Sunday, this time in the 3,000m run. Ingebrigsten ran a personal best and world-leading 7:23.63 for the win. Ethiopia's Yomif Kejelcha set a new national record in 7:23.64 for second, and Grant Fisher set a new American record in 7:25.47 for third.
Reigning 400m world champion Marileidy Paulino survived another strong finish from Poland's Natalia Kaczmarek to win that title by nearly a second in 49.58. Holland's Lieke Klaver ran third in 50.47 just a few races after teammate Femke Bol cruised to the 400m hurdle title. The pair made up half of Netherlands' 4x400 world champion team.
"Training, training, training," Klaver said of the battle in the 400m. "I will not give up. I will be stronger every season so we will see. We had some great people at the start of our track and field career. I think with Femme and me and the other girls, also the younger people are growing. I think we have a strong sports country."
Jamaica's Hansle Parchment ran the world's fastest time this season to win the 110m hurdles in 12.93. America's Grant Holloway edged countryman Daniel Roberts by 0.01s for second place in 13.07. Nigeria's Tobi Amusan moved from sixth place at Worlds to Diamond League champion in a loaded women's race in 12.33. Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn finished second in 12.38.
All eyes were on Jamaica's Shericka Jackson to close out the season in the 200m dash. Her push for a world record came up short but she did set a Pre Classic meet record with the title in 21.57s. No other sprinter finished under 22s. Canada's Andre de Grasse overcome some early-season struggles to win the men's race in a season-best 19.76s. America's Kenneth Bednarek and Erriyon Knighton ran second and third, respectively, in 19.95 and 19.97s.