Kirani James ran 43.96 in the 400m, second time under 44 seconds in his career, and was very pleased with the race: “It was a good race, very competitive, all the guys out there did a very good job so I’m happy to come out with a win.
“I most definitely started a lot faster than in previous races. Me and my coach sat down and saw what went wrong in Eugene, and in training we worked on it. We did what we can and you saw the end result here today.
The Grenadian was not worrying about losing to Merritt earlier in the season: “It’s track and field. You win some and you lose some. We’re not robots so we’re not going to win every time. We just have to stay composed and move forward after the loss.
“I havent run under 44 seconds in middle of the season ever so it’s safe to say I am in better shape than last season. We’ll just have to wait and see how fast I can run,” he said.
Usain Bolt didn’t disappoint the French crowd and ran a season best and world leading 19.73 to win the 200m.
“I love Paris, I always feel wonderful here. As you see, I’m getting there. I still need to work on a few mistakes, my coach will determine what exactly it will be. It’s all building up towards a great World Championships. You will see a big show there, it will be the climax and I want to be ready for that,” Bolt said.
Kenyan Ezekiel Kemboi ran a world lead 7.59.03 to win 3000m steeplechase in a race where Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad ran a new European Record 8.00.09.
Another world lead by an African athlete came in women’s 5000m where Tirunesh Dibaba ran 14.23.68; seventh fastest 5000m time ever.
Valerie Adams of New Zealand had her 36th consecituve victory in shot put as she threw 20.62m to win by more than a metre.
“I’m happy with the result and to go home with a win. I still have two more competitions before Moscow,” she said.
Adams and her brother could be one of the most talented siblings in sports as he recently got drafted to the NBA: “I’m really happy and so proud of him, his hard work has paid off and it was just a great day for the Adams family, it was the day I broke the world lead also.
“Every competition I enter I try to win. My goal is to win in Moscow and to be the best athlete I can be. I want to win for the fourth time in. It’s never been done in women’s shot put,” she said.
Adams is not worrying about last year’s Olympic fiacso where she had to receive a silver medal just to get the gold months later after winner Nadzeya Ostapchuk was banned: “It’s like the past now. Justice has been served, she’s now banned. I received the gold medal and I was the rightful gold medal winner from the start. It’s really sad that she’s tainted our event.”
Blessing Okagrabe finished second in the 100m behind Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with a season’s best 10.93.
“The race was okay, I’m just happy I came off the race healthy, that’s good enough for me and a new season’s best so thank god for that,” the Nigerian said.
Okagrabe still had not decided what event or events out of her three options of 100, 200, and long jump she will do in Moscow: “When I’m ready, my fans will know what event I will do in Moscow, I’m measuring my options but when I pick the events, everybody will know. Well, probably when I start the event, they will know.
“I’m still trying to figure out what I have to do. I think I have the best chance in all of them, all three of them. I go with faith, I beliveve everybody has a chance. I’m just going to figure out what event I have the best chance to get a medal in and that’s what I’m gonna focus on. I’m taking a little break now and next races are going to be Monaco and London Diamond Leagues before Moscow.”
Ivorian Murielle Ahoure placed third in the same race with a season’s best 11.01, but she still thought her coach will be upset at her.
“I’m really pleased, I just came out here to try to execute the race the best as I could. I know my coach is going to be upset because I did couple mistakes, but I’m not mad at season’s best.
I got up too early, I should have stayed patient, but it’s okay, I’m happy. I’m running the 200m in Monaco next. My goal in Moscow is obviously medalling, I just really wanna run hard and do really well for my country,” she said.
Aries merritt kept improving his form and ran a season’s best time in the 110m hurdles: “The race obviously felt a little rusty, but it was better than what I’ve been running all season, 13.09, season’s best, I can’t be more pleased. It’s been a rocky road for me obviously, but my time keeps dropping every time I run.
“I’m looking forward to going home to train now and when I’m coming back I’m hoping to continue to lower my season’s best. I still go to see doctors in Germany, I have to make sure everything is working.
“My next race will be the Anniversary Games in London. I believe my competitors are always at their fiercest, I’m really surprised with the French (Pascal Martinot-Lagarde), he’s a young talent and there will be more great things to come from him. I’m excited to go home to get another three weeks of training before I run again,” the world record holder said.
Men’s long jump did not see any great results; Jamaican Damar Forbes was the only athlete able to manage the difficult winds and jumped 8.08m to win.
“The competition was good but there was a cross wind and a lot of the athletes couldn’t adjust to that. I was okay, taken into consideration all the traveling I did before I got here I’m happy.
“I’m just happy I won, that’s what I came here to do. The wind was really throwing people off and the steps were off. I just got lucky even I fouled a really good jump, but foul doesn’t count.
“I definitely feel like I can challenge Menkov in Moscow, I have jumped 8.35m windy already and 8.25m legal so I feel like I’m in the range of going even further than that with a little bit more time and better preparation. I didn’t prepare for this meet at all to tell you the truth, with better preparation I can jump better than the best,” Forbes said.
Next Diamond League will be in Monaco on Friday the 19th, but we will be next in London Anniversary Games 27th and 28th of July to catch up with the Africans and other stars.