Roman holiday for Thompson, Russell
Back-to-back Diamond League wins and a shiny personal best and world leading time to match; Janeive Russell rubber-stamped her credentials with a commanding win in the 400m hurdles at the Golden Gala Rome Diamond League yesterday.
She was not the only Jamaican who had their way in the Italian capital with her MVP Track Club teammate Elaine Thompson again turning heads with a powerful win in the 100m.
Triple jumpers Shanieka Thomas and Kimberly Williams as well as discus man Fedrick Dacres all left the Stadio Olimpico with smiles on their faces, while quarter-miler Rusheen McDonald continued to struggle an interrupted start to his season, which was affected by a near-death motor vehicle accident with another disappointment in the 400m.
Russell hardly looked bothered as she ran away for the win in a time of 53.96. She now holds 20 points six more than Eilidh Doyle, in the race for the diamond trophy and US$40,000 prize money.
It was a telling run from the young World Championships finalist, who left South African Wenda Theron Nel, 54.61 and Great Britain's Eilidh Doyle, 54.81 with experienced Jamaican and four time Diamond Race winner Kaliese Spencer, 55.51 lagging behind in sixth place.
In the women's 100m, Thompson also took her tally to 20 points in the event after posting 10.87 for her win ahead of English Gardner (USA), 10.92 and Barbara Pierre (USA), 11.13.
The pair of Thomas and Williams were competitive throughout the event, with Thomas' 14.46m giving her a third-place finish behind the dominant Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia), 14.78m and Kazakhstan's Olga Rypakova, 14.51m.
Dacres, who was competing in his first Diamond League meet was also satisfied with his fourth place finish in the men's discus event after landing the implement at 63.50m.
Robert Urbanek (Poland), 65.00 won ahead of Victor Hogan (South Africa), 64.03m and Robert Harting (Germany), 63.96m.
Kingston-bound world 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk, who competes at the Jamaica National Racers Grand Prix next weekend clocked the fourth fastest time this season with a 44.19 win ahead of Grenada's Bralon Taplin, 44.43 and Isaac Makwala (Botswana), 44.85. McDonald finished eighth in 46.05.
Justin Gatlin clocked a season best 9.93 to win the non-Diamond League listed 100m event with Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto dropping a world leading 8:01.41 to win the men's 3000m steeplechase.