National record holder Akani Simbine closed out his season with a convincing victory in the men’s 100m race at the Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday night.
Simbine stormed over the line in 9.96 seconds, clocking his fastest time since the 2020 campaign was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in March, with the Commonwealth Games champion earning his third career victory in the top-flight Diamond League series.
Ivorian athlete Arthur Cisse took second place in 10.04.
“I feel good. I executed this race really well,” Simbine said.
“The last two races I struggled with mt start, but not here, so finishing my season like this is great.
“I am really happy, and I am grateful they let us compete here and that they are making this effort.”
Meanwhile, Swedish pole vault star Armand Duplantis eclipsed Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka’s 26-year mark, setting a new outdoor pole vault world record of 6.15m.
Duplantis, who already held the world indoor record of 6.18m, bettered the mark of 6.14m achieved by Bubka in July 1994 in Italy.
The 20-year-old succeeded on his second attempt in a competition he dominated in perfect warm and windless conditions, but without spectators to celebrate in an empty Stadio Olimpico.
“I think I’m still up in the clouds right now,” said the US-born athlete.
“It’s a surreal, super crazy feeling.”
Back on the track, Norwegian Karsten Warholm missed out on the 400m hurdles world record, despite winning in a blistering 47.07 seconds.
Two-time world champion Warholm, the second fastest 400m hurdler in history, had been hoping to topple Kevin Young’s long-standing mark of 46.78sec which the American set at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
The 24-year-old outdistanced his rivals but had to settle for a meet record.
“Of course I’m satisfied, this is my third best time ever,” said Warholm, who left France’s Ludvy Vaillant a distant second at 48.69sec.
“This year I am getting a lot of MRs, my average time is getting really good. I am really satisfied at being at that level. It shows I am close to the world record.”