PRAGUE (Reuters) - DeAnna Price of the United States beat world record holder Anita Wlodarczyk in the hammer throw on Saturday, helping lift the Americas into the lead on the first day of the Continental Cup.
In the women’s 100m, Ivory Coast’s Marie Josee Ta Lou edged British rival Dina Asher-Smith to give Africa its first victory at the two-day global team track and field competition.
Europe are the defending champions in an event which started as athletics’ World Cup four decades ago before changing its name in 2010. It is held every four years.
Price boosted the Americas’ chances in Ostrava in the Czech Republic with a throw of 75.46 metres, just over two metres further than Poland’s Wlodarczyk.
“It is completely mind-blowing,” Price said. “Anita is fantastic. I am not at her level yet... but we are getting there.”
The Americas ended Saturday with 135 points to Europe’s 123. Asia-Pacific have 89 points and Africa 74.
Ta Lou, seeking to loosen the Jamaican and American grip on the sprints, will look to add to Africa’s tally on Sunday when she goes for the double in the 200m.
In the 100m she pipped Asher-Smith by 0.02 seconds with a time of 11.14. The pair share the season’s best mark of 10.85 seconds.
World silver medalist Ta Lou also anchored Africa’s 4x100m relay but missed out when the squad dropped the baton. The Americas won the event, timing 42.11 seconds to beat Europe by 0.44 seconds.
The Americas’ men’s 4x100m squad completed the sweep with a mark of 38.05 seconds, with the Africans again failing to finish.
Triple jump winner Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia added to the Americas’ point total. The gold medalist in the last Olympics won easily with 14.76 metres.
Jamaica’s Danielle Williams raced past Americas teammate Kendra Harrison of the United States in the women’s 100m hurdles. In the women’s 400m, Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser cruised to victory to give Asia-Pacific some much-needed points.
On the men’s side, world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya jogged to an easy win in the 3,000m steeplechase, roared on by the Ostrava crowd.
“I had enough power in the last 100 metres and I asked the crowd for more support because I love loud tribunes,” he told the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) website.
Only half the field finished, with Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager of the United States scratching before the start.
Joseph Millar of New Zealand, meanwhile, made an unexpected appearance in the discus.
A sprinter, Millar had just competed in the men’s 200m, won by Panama’s Alonso Edward, when he stepped up to fill a missing spot for Asia-Pacific.
Millar set a ‘personal best’ of 27.15 metres. Jamaican Federick Dacres’s winning throw was measured at 67.97 metres.
Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Tony Lawrence