Thompson claims Shanghai win with 2017's fastest time

Reigning Olympic sprint queen Elaine Thompson will chase her second win of the new Diamond League series here when she lines up in a solid field in the women's 100 metres here Saturday.

McLeod, who opened his season with a splendid 13.04 seconds in rainy conditions at the Drake Relays two weeks ago, just missed the meet record 12.97 seconds past year when he ran 12.98 seconds, the fastest time of 2016, on his way to winning Jamaica's first Olympic gold medal in Rio.

After her brilliant start in the 200m in Doha, Thompson who ran a wind-aided 10.75 seconds (2.2m/s) at the UTech Classic last month and has had some fast relay legs in the Bahamas and Philadelphia, will start favourite not just to win but to post a fast time if conditions are right.

Men's pole vault is another event to watch as seven-time Diamond League victor and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie will start his outdoor season in Shanghai. "Even though when I watched the video, I wasn't that explosive from the blocks, nevertheless, I still pulled through". A little earlier, Thompson had crossed the line well ahead of America's Tori Bowie (11.04sec), whom the Jamaican also relegated to silver at last year's Rio Olympics.

The Jamaican women finished outside of the top spots in the 400m with Novelene Williams-Mills, 51.45 and Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, 51.63 running fourth and fifth, while Stephenie-Ann McPherson, 51.97 took seventh behind Olympic champion Shaunae Miller - Uibo, who dropped a massive 49.77 seconds in her commanding win.

Russia's world champion Sergey Shubenkov, competing under a neutral flag, finished fifth in what was his first global race for a year.

"It's all in my coach's hand, if he decides for me to go double again", Thompson said. She won silver in the 200 at the 2015 worlds, but didn't compete in the 100. Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast was third.

Lyles sprinted in front of fellow American LaShawn Merritt, the former world and Olympic 400m champion, who clocked 20.27 and Great Britain's former European champion Adam Gemili, who recorded 20.35. "There was literally no time for complacency".

The Cote d'Ivoire's Youssef Meite finished third in the men's 100m dash, where he recorded a time of 10.15, which is now his season's best and an important sign of improvement which is so critical for athletes competing in this code.

As the 2016 Olympic champion and Diamond League victor in men's 400m hurdles, Kerron Clement is ready to bounce back from the disappointing seventh finish in Shanghai 12 month ago.

The field was also missing Usain Bolt, who is expected to kick off the final season of his glittering career next month, as well as Rio bronze medallist Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., and Doha champion Akani Simbine.

The men's 800m race showcases world record holder and reigning world and Olympic champion David Rudisha.

"I really can't say much since this is the first race of the season and I don't know how my rivals are", said Obiri, who has personal best 14:25.78 from Brussels previous year.

The Kenyan believes he'll be able to find his form in plenty of time before he attempts to defend his world title.

"I didn't get the distance I wanted today as I was looking for 8.80m, but I know it will come".

For the first time, the men's and women's discus events will be combined into a single event and see the world's best male and female throwers take the spotlight in alternating rounds, a change introduced by local organizers.

"I had some problems with my footing and I think that is why so many people struggled".

  • Julie Sanders