Kendra Harrison, Hellen Obiri and Yarisley Silva in action at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London (Kirby Lee / Getty Images) © Copyright
General News London, UK

London's top three moments – IAAF Diamond League

Later this week, the IAAF Diamond League heads to London for the 11th meeting in the 2018 series. Here we look back at three of the more memorable moments from the British capital.


Harrison breaks 28-year-old 100m hurdles world record, 2016

Kendra Harrison’s world 100m hurdles record of 12.20, beating the 1988 mark of 12.21 set by Bulgaria’s Yordanka Donkova, put even Usain Bolt’s 19.89 200m into the shade on the first of two days of competition in London’s Olympic stadium.

Two months after becoming the second fastest women’s high hurdler in history with 12.24 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene, and two weeks after failing to qualify for the US Olympic team, the 24-year-old from Tennessee produced one of the great track performances in front of more than 40,000 fans.

“Only the record will make up for missing out on Rio,” Harrison had said at the previous day’s press conference.

Harrison, who had won her heat in 12.40, crossed the line five metres clear of a world-class field, but the time which flashed up was only 12.58. But shortly afterwards, the figures were corrected to a world record mark and the winner sank to her knees in tears.

Harrison had dipped so low at the line, she had run beneath the beam and the trackside clock initially recorded the uncorrected time of second-placed Brianna Rollins, later credited with 12.57.

“I wanted to come out here and show the world that I still have it, even though I won't be going to the Olympics,” she said. “I had to give it all I had.

“Initially I saw 12.5 and I was just happy to come out here and win. I was so happy when it came up and I was feeling really blessed.” 

Obiri upstages Muir’s record attempt, 2017

There would hardly have been a more popular winner in the mile than Laura Muir, who had begun her year by winning European indoor titles at 1500m and 3000m.

The previous year Muir had beaten the British 1500m held by double Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes, running 3:55.22 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris and concluding her season by winning the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich.

Now she was after the imperial version of that record, set 32 years earlier by Zola Budd at 4:17.57.

Hellen Obiri had other plans.

She tailed the Briton through the bell. As Muir hit the home straight, the noise levels in the Olympic stadium rose to the heights. But then Kenya’s Olympic 5000m silver medallist moved past her to break her own national record, setting a meeting record of 4:16.56.

Only Genzebe Dibaba had run faster than that time this millennium. Obiri moved above Mary Slaney on the world all-time list having eclipsed Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon as the fastest Kenyan ever.

Muir, ultimately, paid for her early ambition, finishing six tenths off Budd’s mark in 4:18.03. But it had been a proper, old fashioned race that will be long remembered.

With the top five athletes finishing within 4:20 and best marks-for-place being set from fourth to 14th, it was the deepest women’s mile race in history.

Silva heads for gold with IAAF Diamond League record, 2013

Cuba's Yarisley Silva achieved her second consecutive IAAF Diamond League victory over Jenn Suhr and Fabiana Murer, beating the respective Olympic and world champions with an IAAF Diamond League record of 4.83m.

Suhr took second with 4.73m, although she had two goes at 4.88m, with Murer third at 4.63m, reversing their positions from the previous month’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.

Early in the season, Silva had altered her technique in line with her rising ambitions, holding the pole higher and extending her run-up. She was aiming for gold at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. She went on to take bronze in the Russian capital, but a world indoor title in 2014 was a step towards her making the top of the podium at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF