Athletics world in frenzy as Torrie Lewis takes down 100m world champ in 'insane' scenes

The Aussie teenager pipped Sha'Carri Richardson to win the 200m at the Diamond League event in China.

Torrie Lewis has sent the athletics world into a frenzy after the Aussie teenager won the 200m at the season-opening Diamond League meet in China on Saturday, and beat 100m world champion Sha'Carri Richardson in the process. Lewis has shot to stardom in Australia in recent months, but on Saturday night she took her stunning exploits global.

Australia's fastest woman made a serious statement ahead of the Paris Olympics in July, with the 19-year-old surging to a 200m triumph in her individual Diamond League debut. Lewis produced a brilliant home-based campaign over the last few months, when she became the Australian 100m record holder with a run of 11.10sec in Canberra in January.

Torrie Lewis, pictured here beating Sha'Carri Richardson at the Diamond League event in China.
Torrie Lewis beat Sha'Carri Richardson to win the 200m at the Diamond League event in China. Image: World Athletics

But she produced the goods on the global stage in China on Saturday against much stronger opposition. The 19-year-old won from way out in lane nine, beating her idol and 100m world champion Richardson, as well as big gun Tamara Clark.

"Not at all!" the Newcastle youngster said when asked after the photo finish if she believed before the race that she could win it. Lewis clocked 22.96 to pip Richardson by just 0.03sec, while Clark came in at 23.01.

Remarkably, it was the second-quickest 200m time of Lewis' flourishing career. It also put her closer to breaking Raelene Boyle's Australian Under-20 record (set 56 years ago), as well as the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.57.

"It was so surreal beating Sha'Carri," Lewis said. "I didn't even notice I beat them until I saw the replay and I was like, 'Holy Crap!' So surreal!

"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."

Young Aussie runners shine amid brutal setback for Peter Bol

It was a strong night for Australia on the global stage, with Georgia Griffith and Sarah Billings becoming the fourth and fifth Australian women respectively to go under four minutes in the 1500m. Griffith clocked 3min 59.04sec to finish sixth, with teammate Billings recording a seven-second personal best to finish night in 3:59.59. Linden Hall was timed at 4:00.71 to finish 10th, with all three Aussies inside the 4:02.50 Olympic qualifying standard.


However 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. It marked the Australian's first overseas race since last year's world championships in Budapest. It was also a tough night for Olympic finalist Stewart McSweyn, who just missed out on the 13:05.00 qualifying standard for Paris while finishing 10th in 13:05.18.

Joel Baden managed to clear 2.24m in the high jump, but a miss at 2.20m meant he missed the podium on a countback as American Shelby McEwan won the event. Ellie Beer finished fifth in the 400m in her Diamond League debut, clocking 52.36 behind Dominican winner Marileidy Paulino. And 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.

Torrie Lewis.
Torrie Lewis at the Australian Track and Field Championships earlier in April.

Armand Duplantis breaks pole vault world record for eighth time

And Swedish sensation Armand Duplantis raised his own pole vault world record yet again - to 6.24 metres. Duplantis cleared the height at his first attempt to better his previous mark from September 2023 by one centimetre.

It marked the eighth time Duplantis has broken the record since he surpassed the previous mark of 6.16m set by Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie. Sam Kendricks of the USA was a distant second with 5.82m.

with AAP