Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah opened her season with a 100m time in California of 10.89sec, which tops this year's world lists ©Getty Images

Elaine Thompson-Herah marked her season’s outdoor debut by setting the fastest 100 metres time of the year, 10.89sec, at a USA Track & Field Golden Games in Walnut, California that delivered on its promise of being a sprinting spectacular.

In blustery conditions at the newly renovated Hilmer Lodge Stadium, Jamaica’s double Olympic 100 and 200m champion had a legal following wind for record purposes of 1.6 metres per second (mps) in her semi-final and chose not to contest the final.

That was won by delighted home athlete Twanisha Terry in 10.77, although with illegal wind-assistance of 3.3mps.

Fellow Americans Aleia Hobbs and Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas followed her home in 10.80 and 10.86 respectively.

Thomas was soon back on track for the event at which she holds the third best time ever of 21.61, the 200 metres, and produced the fastest wind-legal time seen so far this season, 22.02.

The second leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series, which was being held as part of the Mt Sac relays, produced a dazzling final offering in the men’s 200m.

Fred Kerley, former 400m specialist and Tokyo 2020 100m silver medallist, proved his continuing versatility as he won in 19.80, the fastest time run so far this year, from another widely talented American, Michael Norman, second in 19.83.

The race was lacking the billed presence of world 100m champion Christian Coleman but was still hugely competitive as Olympic 400m hurdles silver medallist Rai Benjamin finished third in 20.01 in a legal following wind of 1.6mps.

"I’m disappointed," Norman said, "I’ve been working really hard, but there’s a lot more to be done."

Michael Cherry, the Diamond League champion, timed his run perfectly to earn victory in the men’s 400m in 44.28, thus replacing Kerley at the top of this year’s world lists.

More remarkable, though, was the achievement of the 21-year-old Brazilian who earned Olympic bronze in last year’s epic men’s 400m hurdles final, Alison dos Santos, who reduced his flat personal best from 45.78 to 44.54.

That means he has an even faster 400m time than Norway’s Olympic champion and world record holder Karsten Warholm, who has run 44.87.

Tokyo 2020 200m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek of the US, running his first 400m since 2019, was satisfied with fourth place in 45.37 despite fading badly in the home straight.

Tonea Marshall upset her fellow American Kendra Harrison, the Olympic silver medallist and world record holder, to win the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.46sec, taking more than two tenths of a second off the fastest time run so far this year.

Harrison, who had qualified fastest in 12.42 only for a 2.4mps following wind to annul the time for record purposes, was second in 12.56.

Devon Allen, who wants to earn a global 110m hurdles medal at this year’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon to round off his athletics career before joining National Football League side Philadelphia Eagles later this year, won with some ease in the event in 13.35sec.

"My goals are to be in good shape, win the worlds in Eugene and then do everything I can to help the Eagles win," said American Allen, who had warmed up by clocking 10.12 in the 100m semi-finals, which would have been a personal best but for a following wind of 3.1mps.

Fellow American Micah Willliams, who had been fastest men’s 100m qualifier in 9.96sec with a 3.1mps wind, went even faster in the final despite a following wind of 2.5mps, winning in 9.83 from Brandon Carnes, who clocked 9.93.

Home discus thrower Valarie Allman, the Olympic champion who broke her own continental record last week with a throw of 71.46 metres, the longest throw in the world in 30 years, earned expected victory with a best of 69.46m.

Sweden’s Daniel Stahl, world and Olympic discus champion, won with a best of 67.65m.

American Bryce Hoppel lived up to his billing as favourite in the 800 metres, although he needed a very rapid final 20 metres to overhaul the surprise long-time leader Ryan Sanchez of Puerto Rico, winning in 1min 47.28sec.

Hoppel’s fellow American Raevyn Rogers, the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist, won the women’s 800m in 1:58.77.

World bronze medallist Vashti Cunningham of the United States won the women’s high jump with a best of 1.96m, equalling the best achieved so far this year.

Clayton Fritsch of the United States, owner of an outstanding mullet hairdo, produced an equally outstanding personal best of 5.80m with a first-time clearance in the men’s pole vault, the highest outdoor jump in the world this year.

Home athletes Olivia Gruver and Rachel Baxter shared the honours in the women’s pole vault after clearing 4.50m - after Gruver withdrew during the scheduled jump-off in a competition where Greece’s US-based Rio 2016 champion Katerina Stefanidi went out early with 4.40m.