RABAT – American Chris Coleman signaled a return to form and fitness on Friday by edging out compatriots Ronnie Baker and Noah Lyles to win a thrilling Diamond League 100 meters on Friday night, while Hellen Obiri set a new world-leading time in the women’s 5,000.
Coleman, who was runner-up to Justin Gatlin at last year’s world championships, was quick out of the blocks but only just clung on to beat Baker in a season’s best time of 9.98 seconds.
The 22-year-old set a 60-meter world indoor record of 6.34 seconds earlier this year, but has struggled with injuries since.
“It was a perfect night for me — good race and good time, I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
“I am not so surprised to win on my first race (back), even with such a great field because I was very fast in practice these last days. When I was injured, I managed to keep a good condition.”
Baker and Lyles share the world-leading time of 9.88 for 2018.
The former finished in the same time as Coleman but was beaten on the dip, while Lyles was just one-hundredth of a second slower.
Kenya’s Obiri, the reigning world champion and 2016 Olympic silver medalist, powered clear of Sifan Hassan to win the women’s 5,000 in a magnificent time of 14 minutes and 21.75 seconds.
Elsewhere, Russian high jumper Mariya Lasitskene saw her 45-competition unbeaten run come to an end, as she failed to clear a modest 1.94 meters.
But her disappointing performance in Morocco allowed Bulgarian Mirela Demireva to snatch the win with 1.94, although she later brought down the bar when attempting a personal best of 2.02.