Kenyan 800m runner Wycliffe Kinyamal and Jamaican sprinter Julian Forte grabbed the headlines at the 53rd edition of the Palio della Quercia Memorial Edo Benedetti in Rovereto on Tuesday (29).
Competing in warm and nearly ideal conditions, Kinyamal set the meeting record of 1:43.94, the fourth fastest time in the world this year. Pacemaker Tamas Kazi led at the bell clocking a fast 49.80 ahead of Burundi’s Antoine Gakeme, who went to the front at 500 metres. Kinyamal launched his kick with half a lap to go, and came off the bend with a big lead over Gakeme in the final straight to smash his previous personal best of 1:45.65 set in Hengelo last June. Kinyamal improved the meeting record of 1:43.97 held by Youssef Saad Kamel since 2005.
Gakeme clocked 1:44.49 in second, just 0.05 outside of his season’s best. Former world bronze medallist Amel Tuka from Bosnia & Hercegovina finished third in 1:44.62, a season’s best. Guy Learmonth set his personal best in fourth place with 1:45.10.
Forte followed up his impressive win at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Berlin with his second consecutive win in the men’s 100m in Rovereto clocking 10.07 ahead of Jak Ali Harvey from Turkey (10.15) and Cuba’s Yunier Perez (10.17).
Forte won at this meeting last year in 9.97 but an illegal tailwind of +2.1 m/s denied him the meeting’s first sub-10 clocking. Forte ran the fastest time in the heats at the World Championships earlier this month but did not get through the semifinals. Last Sunday he smashed his lifetime best with a 9.91 in Berlin, the third fastest time of 2017.
“I am really satisfied with my race,” Forte said. “I have come here for some time and I enjoy competing her. I did not expect to run so fast in Berlin.”