Home » Australia’s fastest woman Torrie Lewis stuns the world in China

Australia’s fastest woman Torrie Lewis stuns the world in China

Australia’s fastest woman Torrie Lewis has made another stunning sprint breakthrough in the run-up to the Olympics by beating the world 100 metres champ and powering to a stunning 200m triumph at the season’s opening Diamond League meeting in China.

On a night in Xiamen when Armand Duplantis was setting another world pole vault record of 6.24 metres, Australia’s own soaring star led the undercard with her brilliant half-lap victory over two American stars.

After her brilliant home-based campaign, when she became the Australian 100m record holder with her 11.10sec run in Canberra in January, 19-year-old Lewis made it an individual Diamond League debut to remember on Saturday.

She clinched a wholly unexpected win from way out in lane nine, beating her idol, 100m world champion Sha’Carri Richardson, and Tamara Clark after a fine start.

“Not at all!” beamed the Newcastle youngster, when asked after the photo finish if she believed before the race that she could win.

Clocking 22.96 to pip Richardson by just 0.03sec, while Clark was timed at 23.01, the English-born Lewis celebrated the second quickest 200m of her career. It also edged her closer to Raelene Boyle’s 56-year old Australian Under-20 record as well as the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.57.

Torrie Lewis models Australia’s 2024 Olympics official uniform at Clovelly Surf Club last week. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

“It was so surreal beating Sha’Carri. I didn’t even notice I beat them until I saw the replay and I was like, ‘Holy Crap!’ So surreal!” Lewis said. “My goal was to just hold on as long as I could. I was in lane nine so I knew they would all be in front of me by 50 or 60 metres, but I just wanted to do as well as I could.

“I’ve come here straight from the nationals, knowing this was my opponents’ season-opener so I knew I had an edge coming in, but I just wasn’t entirely sure because I had never raced those athletes before.”

There were other Australian performances to savour, with Georgia Griffith and Sarah Billings becoming the fourth and fifth Australian women, respectively, to clock sub-four minute times in the 1500m, while Linden Hall joined them.

Griffith clocked 3min 59.04sec to claim sixth, followed by teammate Billings who recorded a seven-second personal best 3:59.59 in ninth, while Hall was timed at 4:00.71 in 10th. All were all inside the 4:02.50 Olympic qualifying standard.

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But it was a disappointing return to international action for Peter Bol, who could only finish 11th of 12 finishers while clocking 1:47.02 in the 800m in his first overseas race since last year’s world championships in Budapest.

Up ahead, Canada’s Marco Arop ran the fastest two-lap time in the world this year with his 1:43.61 victory. It was a tough night too for Olympic finalist Stewie McSweyn, who just missed out on the 13:05.00 qualifying standard for Paris while finishing 10th in 13:05.18.

Joel Baden cleared 2.24m in the high jump, but a miss at 2.20m meant he missed the podium places on countback in an event won by American Shelby McEwan.

Another Diamond League debutant Ellie Beer finished fifth in the 400m, clocking 52.36 behind Dominican winner Marileidy Paulino, while Australian record holder Kathryn Mitchell, seeking a fourth Olympic appearance, finished sixth in the javelin with a 55.57m throw behind home winner Qianqian Dai