STOCKHOLM — Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross was pushed to the limit by Botswana’s Amantle Montsho before coming through to win the women’s 400 meters at the DN Gala Diamond League meeting Friday.
American Richards-Ross took the lead from Montsho in the closing stage of the race to win in 49.89 seconds. Montsho finished in 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-meter 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 Friday, 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 body is on auto-pilot right now.”
Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor of the United States managed 17.11 meters to win his event. Ukraine’s Sheryf El Sheryf was second with 17.04 and Russian Lyukman Adams took third with 16.93.
Shot put star Valerie Adams, coming off the New Zealander’s second Olympic gold in London, dominated her event, throwing 20.26 meters. Russian Yevgenia Kolodko was second with her 19.08-meter throw, while Germany’s Christina Schwanitz was third with 18.72.
Croatia’s Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic set a new meeting record, winning her event with a 68.77-meter throw. Russian Darya Pischalnikova was second (66.85) and German Nadine Muller third (65.07).
In the women’s 200 meters, 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 meter 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 meters race in 9.93 seconds. Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Michael Frater finished second and third respectively, but failed to dip below the 10-second mark.
2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper won the women’s 100 meter hurdles, finishing in 12.65 seconds, ahead of fellow American Kellie Wells (12.76) and Bulgarian Alina Talay (12.79).
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.
‘Bolt too expensive’
Newly-crowned Olympic sprint king Usain Bolt was deliberately not invited to the meeting because the Jamaican commands too great an appearance fee, according to organizers.
Meet organizer Jan Kowalski told the Expressen tabloid: “We’d get to saturation point if he were to run every year. “We had talks with him but we thought ‘is it worth paying the price for him to come?’”
The absence of the world’s fastest man was marked by many more empty seats in the stadium than usual, Expressen said. — Agencies