EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - American world champion Sam Kendricks outlasted a high-quality pole vault field in tricky conditions while Olympic gold medalist Thomas Rohler led a German domination of the javelin at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on Friday.
Kendricks cleared 5.81 meters to beat teenager Mondo Duplantis (5.71) and Poland’s Piotr Lisek (5.71) as French world record holder Renaud Lavillenie exited early on a time foul.
“The winds and the conditions were switching, so every pole vaulter had to make so many adjustments,” Kendricks told Reuters.
“That may be why we didn’t have the highest performances but I tell you the little Mondo Duplantis kept us honest today.”
Duplantis, who represents Sweden in international competition, had the lead before Kendricks made 5.81 meters and Duplantis missed three times.
“He is so hard to beat,” Duplantis said of Kendricks. “And it irritates me a lot. But I know it will be so much sweeter.”
Kendricks is the only major vaulter he has not defeated, the 18-year-old Duplantis said.
The world junior record holder added Lavillenie to his list on Friday.
The Frenchman, who had earlier said vaulting would be difficult because of the conditions, missed twice at 5.71 and then ran out of time on his third attempt. His only clearance was at 5.56 on his third try.
Brazil’s Olympic champion Thiago Braz failed to clear a height.
Germany’s Thomas Rohler, Johannes Vetter and Andreas Hofmann put on a clinic in the javelin with Rohler thrilling the crowd with a top throw of 89.88 meters.
World champion Vetter had led with a best of 89.34 meters before Rohler’s winning throw.
Hofmann finished third with 86.45 meters.
“It was great,” Vetter said of the sweep. “Hopefully we hold it through the rest of the season.”
On the track, Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir claimed the men’s 800 meters in 1:45.16, his fastest time of the year, as he outraced Nigel Amos of Botswana (1:45.51).
Ethiopia’s 18-year-old Selemon Barega took top honours in the infrequently run two miles, clocking 8:20.01.
Barega held off American Olympic 5,000 meters silver medalist Paul Chelimo for the victory. Chelimo clocked 8:20.91.
The meeting continues on Saturday with world 60 meters record holder Christian Coleman makes his outdoor debut in the 100 meters.
The competition is last major event to be held at nearly 100-year-old Hayward Field before the facility is demolished to make way for a new stadium for the 2021 IAAF world championships.
Editing by Greg Stutchbury