Abdi Bile of Somalia, the 1987 world champion, won the men’s 1,500 meters in 3 minutes 30.55 seconds, best in the world this year and the fifth-fastest ever, at an international track and field meet Sunday at Rieti, Italy.
Bile came within almost a second of the world record of 3:29.46, held by Said Aouita of Morocco.
Bile was close to record pace for the first 1,000 meters, when he was paced by Ray Brown of the United States and Joseph Chesire of Kenya. But Bile tired slightly down the homestretch after running alone for the final 600 meters.
The meet also featured victories by two-time Olympic champion Roger Kingdom (13.23 in the 110-meter high hurdles), Olympic bronze medalist Danny Everett (44.74 in the 400), Diane Dixon (51.57 in the women’s 400) and Olympic bronze medalist Larry Myricks (27 feet in the long jump).
The sprints were dominated by Jamaicans, with Ray Stewart winning the men’s 100 meters in 10.14 and Merlene Ottey winning the women’s race in 11.07.
Patrik Sjoberg of Sweden won the men’s high jump at 7-8 3/4, after world record-holder Javier Sotomayor of Cuba stopped at 7-7 3/4 because of muscle pain.
Olympic silver medalist Rodion Gataullin of the Soviet Union won the pole vault at 19-0 1/4, again beating countryman and world record-holder Sergei Bubka, second at 18-4 1/2.
Calvin Smith and Danette Young each won two sprint races as Americans dominated an international meet at Varnamo, Sweden.
Smith, a two-time world champion in the 200 meters, set stadium records in the 100 and 200 despite a slight head wind.
He won the 100 in 10.37 seconds, beating 1988 world junior champion Andre Cason by six-hundredths of a second. In the 200, Smith clocked 20.77, beating runner-up Henry Thomas by 0.14.
Young won the women’s 100 in 11.47 for another stadium record and the 200 in 23.05, just short of the stadium record. In both races, Young competed against mediocre Swedish sprinters.
Randy Barnes won the shotput at 70 feet 1 inch, and Mike Conley took the triple jump at 54-7 1/2.