Sha’Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles were two of a host of newly-crowned world champions to transform their winning form in Budapest into victory at the Diamond League meet in Zurich on Thursday.
But there was a first Diamond League defeat in five years for Norway’s hurdler supreme Karsten Warholm, as Josh Kerr (1500m), Gianmarco Tamberi (high jump) and Neeraj Chopra (javelin) were also pushed off the top of the podiums after success in the Hungarian capital.
Sprint queen Richardson scorched to victory in the blue riband 100m, clocking 10.88sec to finish ahead of Jamaicans Natasha Morrison and Elaine Thompson-Herah in a photo finish at 11.00sec.
“I am feeling really good for being able to finish this season as fast as I can,” said Richardson, who won 200m bronze and was also part of the US team that won gold in the 4x100m relay in Budapest.
“Today, I felt like I executed and I felt good about my performance – my body felt very good afterwards, but obviously there is still room to improve.”
Thompson-Herah, the two-time defending Olympic double sprint champion, missed out on selection for individual races in Budapest and admitted she almost called time on the year.
“The fact that I did not make it to the World Championships in an individual race was hard,” she said.
“I am a warrior, this is not about crying. A good story is not about winning all the time, it is also about the difficult times.”
Lyles made no mistake in his favoured 200m, winning in 19.80sec after a strong bend that set him up perfectly for a home straight charge to the line.
US teenage teammate Erriyon Knighton finished second in 19.87sec with Briton Zharnel Hughes rounding out the podium (19.94).
“It is business as usual,” Lyles said. “Everybody wants to beat me and everybody wants the cake and the crown, but I am not giving it to them.”
Lyles’ female 200m-winning counterpart in Budapest, Jamaican Shericka Jackson, also dominated the women’s race, triumphing in 21.82sec.
“I wanted to come out here and perform,” said Jackson. “To be honest, the season has not finished yet, so my focus is not yet on the Olympic Games, but on this 2023 season. I just want to finish this season well.”
Norway’s Olympic and three-time world champion Warholm, however, suffered his first defeat since the 2022 world championships final in Eugene when he finished second to Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands in the 400m hurdles.
Warholm, whose last Diamond League defeat came way back in September 2018 – also in Zurich and also to McMaster, set the meet record of 46.92 in 2019, but was far off that as he clocked 47.30sec, three-hundredths of a second off the fast-finishing winner.
“Nobody wants to lose but at the same time, it is a fast time,” said Warholm.
“The level is so high. I cannot have bad days anymore. The world championships was the most important thing but of course, I want to win everything!”
McMaster added: “It’s always good beating the world champion. I’ve put down a statement ahead of the Paris Olympics.
“The last time I beat him he came back out and beat everyone and set a world record!”
Britain’s Kerr, who outsprinted Jakob Ingebrigtsen to a memorable world 1500m gold, was himself pipped at the line by American Yared Nuguse in 3:30.49.
Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi (2.28) could only finish fourth in the high jump won by Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim in 2.36m, while Chopra came second to Czech javelin thrower Jakub Vadlejch.
Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, who won a fourth consecutive gold in Budapest with her last effort, caused no such drama in Zurich, winning the triple jump easily with a best of 15.15m.
Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis was in similarly dominant form in the pole vault, the sole athlete to clear 6.00m, and making three attempts to better his own world record of 6.22m.
Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou (long jump), Bahrain’s Winfred Mutile Yavi (steeplechase) and Jamaican Danielle Williams (100m hurdles) also mirrored their winning ways from Hungary.