Clayton leads Jamaican sweep while Paulino and dos Santos dominate at Bislett Games Diamond League

By May 30, 2024

The Bislett Games Diamond League meeting in Oslo delivered a night of thrilling performances and unexpected outcomes on Thursday. While Rushell Clayton and Marileidy Paulino emerged victorious in their respective events, two-time world champion Shericka Jackson had a disappointing finish in the 200m.

World leader Rushell Clayton continued her stellar season, winning the 400m hurdles in 54.02 seconds despite challenging weather conditions. Clayton, who has been dominant in the event, controlled the race from the start and pulled away decisively towards the end. Compatriot Andrenette Knight finished second with a season-best 54.63 after a strong challenge but faded after the final hurdle. Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell rounded out the Jamaican sweep, securing third place with a season-best 55.07.

Clayton, whose time of 53.72 is fastest in the world this year was happy with the win.

"I have never expected the conditions like that but nevertheless, it was a good race. My execution felt well and I cannot ask for more than to win. It is always good to win. Each race is a challenge and I am working towards a bigger goal," she said breathlessly afterward.

"So whenever these ladies decide to compete, I will be there to do the same, to compete. My next plans: to train, train, train... and I need to do the national championships. I am literally training through all these meets. I have training tomorrow, the next day, I do what my coach decides. It is hurting. My main goal - to get to the Olympics and to win a medal. My last and ultimate goal of the season."

The men's 400m hurdles race lived up to the hype, even with the late withdrawal of world-leading Rai Benjamin with a niggle. Brazilian star Alison dos Santos seized the opportunity, delivering a world-leading time of 46.63 to claim victory. Dos Santos put immense pressure on world record holder Karsten Warholm, who stumbled at the final hurdle, allowing the Brazilian to surge ahead. Warholm finished second in 46.70, the same time he clocked when he set the world record in 2021.

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Excited by how well he performed, the Brazilian confidently stated that there is even more to come from him this season.

"It felt good and I loved this track, the people and the energy. It is always good to come here, to come out and be able to win. It was a tough race but I wanted to show I am there, I am ready and in good shape and that I can go even faster," he remarked.

"I was excited about this race and now I am excited about the next one to see how much I can do. The conditions were like a bit wet but it is the same for everyone. I just had to keep the mindset that I wanted to win. And I am proud that I managed to win."

With the likes of Benjamin to join the battle later this summer, Dos Santos said he is anticipating incredible performances in Paris.

"It is going to be amazing in Paris 2024. I am so excited about the things I can do. Everything before Paris is just a preparation for that. So it is going to be like awesome. Only thing I can say is just: Watch!"

In the women's 400m, Marileidy Paulino showcased her class, winning in a season-best 49.30. Paulino led the race from start to finish, pulling away from Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek, who finished second with a season-best 49.80. The USA’s Alexis Holmes took third place in 50.40. Notably, Sada Williams of Barbados finished fifth in a season-best 50.71.

Paulino was pleased with her performance. "I felt good tonight. I thought the weather conditions would be unpleasant but it turned out nice. I am training hard in order to be able to do these times at the right time. I would like to improve the second part of my race."

Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith dominated the men's 400m, clocking an impressive 44.07, the second-fastest time in the world this year. Olympic champion Kirani James was a distant second in 44.58, followed closely by Vernon Norwood, who finished third in 44.68.

Shericka Jackson, who had been aiming to improve on her 22.82 performance in Rabat, struggled in the 200m, finishing fifth with a time of 22.97. The race was won by the USA’s Brittany Brown, who edged out Marie-Josée Ta Lou at the line with a time of 22.32. Ta Lou also set a season-best of 22.36, demonstrating her strong form this season. Daryll Neita finished third with her best time this season, clocking 22.50.

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule-Toppin delivered another sub-two-minute performance in the women's 800m, finishing second with her fastest time this season at 1:59.10. South Africa’s Prudence Sekgodiso won the race with a time of 1:58.66, while Catriona Bissett of Australia took third in 1:59.29.

The Bislett Games provided a mix of highs and lows for the athletes, with standout performances in the 400m and 400m hurdles capturing the attention of the nearly full house at Bislett Stadium. As the Diamond League continues, athletes like Clayton and Paulino will look to build on their successes, while Jackson aims to regroup and refocus ahead of the Paris Olympics.

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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