Americans Get Back on Track in Stockholm
After over a month of hibernation, Americans hit the track again at yesterday’s Stockholm Diamond League meet. In virtually every event of the meet, we got to see whether our American stars came in rested and ready to go or possibly stale from the time off. How they might fair against the rest of the world, many of whom were coming off of continental championships, added to the intrigue.
All told, USA won 6 of the 16 marquee events contested in the meet. These wins covered the whole range of track and field with Americans victories in the shot put, long jump, 200m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, and 1500m. American women stole the show with four wins while men took the other two.
The shot put victory went to one of the elder statesmen of USA track and field: Reese Hoffa. Reese has been hurling heavy objects around the world for over a decade now and it is wonderful to see the former orphan still winning on some of the worlds biggest stages and continuing to build his legacy.
Tianna Bartoletta proved again that she is an incredible athlete with her win in the long jump. Formerly known as Tianna Madison, she was a world indoor and outdoor champion jumper but recently has seen more success in the 100 meters with her fourth place showing at the Olympics and the lead off leg on the world-record setting 4 X 100m in London. Her win in the long jump proves that she can still be a threat at multiple disciplines. Furthering her athletic resume, she also has international success in the bobsled.
Allyson Felix has been setting tracks around the world on fire since she was a high school student. She got another win in the Stockholm 200m to add to her endless collection and put her in the driver’s seat for the overall diamond league title in that event with the remaining competition.
Queen Harrison led a trio of Americans in the 100m hurdles. The Virginia Tech graduate was the youngest of the American winners in Stockholm and is truly finding her own this year with a big lead in the diamond league chase for the event four years after winning the Bowerman award (Heisman for track) in her senior year of college.
Michael Tinsley has been running on the international circuit for a long time now but the late-bloomer hadn’t made a World Championships team until he was selected to run for USA in London in 2012. He made the most of his first global championship with a silver medal in London and clearly isn’t slowing down two years later with this win in Stockholm.
Rounding out the 6 American victors is Jenny Simpson. Furthering the notion that she may never run over steeple barriers again like she did in college at Colorado, she beat a stout field in the 1500m in Stockholm and is proving that her world championship success from Daegu, a race that seemed to come out of nowhere, was no fluke and she is one of the most talented runners in the world.
With these wins and some other solid performances in other events, Americans proved that for the most part, they were more rested than rusty after the break. With three Diamond League events left and then the Continental Cup, that break may pay off for many of our favorites.