Hellen Obiri wins the 5000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London (© Jean-Pierre Durand)
Impressive victories by Hellen Obiri and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce highlighted the second day of action at the Muller Anniversary Games in London Stadium on Sunday (21).
In one of the premiere showdowns of the afternoon, Obiri kicked away from Sifan Hassan with just over 200 metres to go to take the 5000m in 14:20.36, a meeting record and world-leading performance. The reigning world champion needed to utilize every bit of her notorious closing speed to hold off compatriot Agnes Tirop, who blew by the fading Hassan over the final 50 metres to finish second in 14:20.68. For Obiri, it was her second fastest performance ever and for the 23-year-old Tirop, a lifetime best.
“I am so happy because this is my favourite track and I have done my best and I ran the way I wanted to,” said Obiri, who took the 2017 world title in London Stadium. “In the last lap I was thinking, work hard and I said to myself when I went past Hassan, 'Let me go and see if you can catch me'.”
She couldn’t, but still clocked 14:22.12 to improved her own European record by 0.12, nine days after breaking the world record in the mile.
Fraser-Pryce blazes 10.78
For the locals, the women’s 100m was the headline attraction of the meeting’s second day, given the presence of triple European champion Dina Asher-Smith. She opened the day well, cruising to a 10.91 win in the heats. But Fraser-Pryce was much more relaxed with a 10.95 run in her heat, an apt precursor for her dominant run in the meet-capping final.
Out quick, the Jamaican was out to a visible lead by 15 metres and simply padded it further through to the line en route to a 10.78 command performance, her third sub-10.80 of the season.
“It's a long season and I've been training and training,” said the two-time Olympic champion. “To come out here and run 10.78 is a fabulous time. I feel good. The aim is to make sure when I get to Doha that I'm on point.”
Asher-Smith was a distant second in 10.92, with Marie-Josee Ta Lou third in 10.98.
Meeting records for Mihambo and Stahl
On the infield, meeting records fell in the women’s long jump and men’s discus throw courtesy of Malaika Mihambo and Daniel Stahl.
Taking command of the competition with a 6.96m leap in the second round, the German leaped 7.02m in the fourth, five centimetres shy of her world lead. Brittney Reese hit 6.82m, in the sixth round to finish second.
Meanwhile, world leader Stahl’s momentum continued, the Swede winning his seventh straight competition by more than a metre. Jamaican Fedric Dacres took control early, setting the tone with a 67.09m throw in the opening round. Stahl responded with 66.61m in the second before taking the lead for good with a 68.56m effort in the third.
World champion Andrius Gudzius reached 65.40m in the opening round, a throw that held up for third.
Ghazal outduels Barshim
Majd Eddin Ghazal collected the first Diamond League victory of his career, topping 2.30m on he same infield where he jumped to world championships bronze two years ago.
In his first Diamond League competition over a year, world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim topped 2.27m to finish second. Both were pleased.
“What a wonderful feeling,” said the Syrian, who also took the Asian title in April. “It's the first time I've ever won a Diamond League meeting and so London is now a very good place for me!”
“I’m happy to be back,” said Barshim, who was sidelined after tearing a ligament in June 2018. “I’m jumping pain-free which is the most important thing. I just need to get some more competitions to regain my rhythm. But I’m in a pretty good place looking to the World Championships.”
Asian 200m record for Xie Zhenye
The surprise of the day came in the non-scoring men’s 200m courtesy of China’s Xie Zhenye. Fifth off the bend, the 25-year-old steadily picked off one runner after another to take an impressive win in 19.88 to smash the Asian record by 0.09. Xie, who has clocked 9.97 in the 100m, arrived in London with a 20.16 lifetime best over the half lap.
Briton Miguel Francis was second in 19.98, a season’s best.
Back-to-back hurdles races prefaced the women’s 100m at the programme’s tail end.
Jamaican champion Rushell Clayton scored a mild upset in the 400m hurdles, clocking a 54.16 lifetime best to edge Czech Zuzana Hejnova, who clocked 54.33.
Xie Wenjun notched an upset in the non-scoring men’s 110m hurdles as well, getting the nod in a photo finish over Wilhem Belocian of France. Both were credited with 13.28, with the Chinese 0.005 faster. Omar McLeod was another few inches back in 13.32.
Mile world lead for Tefera
Samuel Tefera prevailed in a fierce last lap battle against Filip Ingebrigsten to add his name to the list of winners of the Emsley Carr Mile. Pulling ahead in the waning stages, the Ethiopian fought off the Norwegian to take the win in 3:49.45, the fastest in the world this year.
Ingebrigsten clawed his way to a 3:49.60 national record. Further back, Briton Jake Wightman was third in 3:52.02.
In the women’s 800m, another non-scoring event, Lynsey Sharp captured her first international win of the season after a strong homestretch drive to hold off Australian Catriona Bisset. Sharp clocked 1:58.61, a season’s best to edge the rapidly-improving Bisset, broke the 1.59.0 Australian record set by Charlene Rendina in 1976.
British men fly to 37.78 4x100m world lead
The meeting kicked off with the men’s 4x100m relay where an inspired British quartet of C. J. Ujah, Zarnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nathaneel Mitchell-Blake combined to clock 37.60, the fastest in the world this year and a meeting record. In a quality contest, Japan finished second in 37.78, with the Netherlands third in 37.99, a national record.
The Diamond League programme on the track opened with the men’s 400m, with Jamaican Akeem Bloomfield prevailing. The 21-year-old looked strong in the homestretch before crossing the line in 44.40, a season’s best. Jonathan Jones, who was unfortunately caught up in a false start snafu in Monaco last weekend, was second in 44.63, a national record for Barbados. Nathon Allen, also of Jamaica, clocked a 44.85 season’s best to round out the top three.
Abderrahman Samba didn't reach the start line after a hamstring problem emerged during a training session on Saturday. As a precaution, he decided against traveling to London.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF