BRUS­SELS DI­A­MOND LEAGUE

Athletics Weekly - - News -

Shau­nae Miller-Uibo com­pletes a Di­a­mond League dou­ble, while Eil­ish McCol­gan sets a Scot­tish record

BRUS­SELS suf­fered a power cut on the night of their Di­a­mond League fi­nal but there was no lack of power from the ath­letes and the new sys­tem of ev­ery­thing be­ing de­cided at the fi­nal in­stead of points be­ing ac­cu­mu­lated through the sea­son was gen­er­ally well re­ceived.

Olympic 400m cham­pion Shau­nae Miller-Uibo showed her prow­ess over 200m in Zürich and in Brus­sels there was no re­peat of her Lon­don drama as she pow­ered down the fin­ish­ing straight to win in a world-lead­ing 49.46. That was her sec­ond best-ever time for the Lon­don fourth-placer, just miss­ing her 49.44 win from Rio.

Chas­ing her hard all the way was Lon­don run­ner-up Salwa Eid Naser, who ran her first sub-50 with 49.88.

It was a Bahrain record and fol­lowed her three records in each round at Lon­don plus her win in the Birm­ing­ham Di­a­mond League against Allyson Felix and world cham­pion Phyl­lis Fran­cis.

Miller-Uibo be­came the first ath­lete to win the 200m-400m Di­a­mond League dou­ble since Felix in 2010.

It has been a great end to the sea­son for Miller-Uibo, who many thought might leave Lon­don with dou­ble in­di­vid­ual gold plus a relay medal but ul­ti­mately only had a bronze 200m medal to show for her en­deav­ours.

Her two Di­a­mond vic­to­ries net­ted her $100,000 in prize money though and could see her ranked as world No.1 in both events.

Dou­ble Olympic sprint cham­pion Elaine Thomp­son, who won three medals in Rio but went home empty-handed from Lon­don, will at least be ranked a clear world No.1 at

100m at the end of the sea­son after her Brus­sels victory.

The race was very close though but saw Thomp­son re­tain her Di­a­mond Tro­phy with 10.92 even after a slow start as she got up on the line to pip dou­ble Lon­don sil­ver medal­list Marie-Josée Ta Lou, who was sec­ond again in 10.93.

The Ja­maican was con­tent after the race. “I’ve just got one thing to say – I’m happy, happy, happy!”

An­other ath­lete who was not happy with the out­come in the English cap­i­tal last month was in win­ning form in the long jump.

The event pro­duced dis­ap­point­ing dis­tances in the cool con­di­tions, but was a close af­fair as Lon­don fourth-placer Ivana Spanovic, pre­sum­ably with her bib num­ber on very tight, won with a last round ef­fort. In Lon­don, that bib touched the sand as she com­pleted her fi­nal jump and may have cost her the gold.

“I kept on fight­ing un­til my last at­tempt and I came out on top,” said Spanovic.

Bri­tain’s Lor­raine Ugen pushed her all the way, gain­ing some good scalps in sec­ond.

The Serb took the lead with a 6.62m sec­ond round jump, which she matched in round three.

Ugen jumped 6.61m and 6.60m in those rounds fol­lowed by a 6.57m in round four.

The Euro­pean in­door sil­ver medal­list, now show­ing a con­sis­tency on the board that was so lack­ing in Lon­don, where she had just one le­gal jump, then took a nar­row lead with 6.65m in round five.

But Spanovic showed her com­pet­i­tive met­tle yet again with a 6.70m last round ef­fort to snatch victory back.

Ugen’s re­ward for her high level was she took the scalps of Olympic cham­pion Tianna Bar­to­letta (fourth with 6.63m) and beat world cham­pion Brit­tney Reese (6.61m) into fifth.

Just nine cen­time­tres cov­ered the top five and in sixth was 2015 world sil­ver medal­list Shara Proc­tor.

There was a world cham­pion victory at 5000m which was a quick race, and saw ar­guably the Bri­tish per­for­mance of the night.

The pace­mak­ers started steadily but im­pa­tient Lon­don win­ner Hellen Obiri was ahead at 2000m in 5:50.46 and then pushed on to pass 3000m in a fast 8:41.96.

The Kenyan, who had looked tired in the Birm­ing­ham 3000m where she was fourth, kicked away on the last lap to win in 14:25.88 and was chased home by Kenyan team­mate Caroline Kip­kirui, who ran a PB 14:27.55.

Ethiopian Sen­bere Te­feri did well to fin­ish third in 14:32.03

“I KEPT ON FIGHT­ING UN­TIL MY LAST AT­TEMPT AND I CAME OUT ON TOP” IVANA SPANOVIC

hav­ing had a heavy fall mid-race which dropped her to last at one stage.

Eil­ish McCol­gan was briefly ham­pered by the fall, but it did not pre­vent her con­tin­u­ing her stun­ning sea­son and she car­ried on her PB form. Fin­ish­ing as first Euro­pean – and in­deed first non-African – she smashed her PB by 12 sec­onds and broke 15 min­utes for the first time.

Her time of 14:48.49 was a Scot­tish record and moved her to fourth all-time in the

UK, be­hind Paula Rad­cliffe (14:29.11), Jo Pavey (14:39.96) and Zola Budd (14:48.07).

McCol­gan now heads a bunch of Scot­tish ath­letes in the all-time rank­ings with Laura Muir fifth, Stephanie Twell sixth, Yvonne Mur­ray sev­enth and her mother, Liz McCol­gan, eighth!

There was an­other

Lon­don win­ner in the men’s steeplechase but it was a far closer race.

There was a fast open­ing kilo­me­tre of 2:40.27 from

USA’s Haron La­gat and then com­pa­triot and Lon­don bronze medal­list Evan Jager went ahead in 2000m in 5:24.45 and there were five dis­put­ing the win at this stage.

The Amer­i­can pushed on fur­ther on the penul­ti­mate lap and it was down to the first three from Lon­don at the bell. It was sil­ver medal­list Soufi­ane El Bakkali who kicked past on the last lap and he ap­peared to have a win­ning lead at the fi­nal bar­rier. How­ever, Cons­es­lus Kipruto changed pace dra­mat­i­cally in the last 40 me­tres and pipped the Moroc­can to win in 8:04.73 from his ri­val’s 8:04.83.

Jager, try­ing to hur­dle the fi­nal wa­ter jump, fell heav­ily and did well to re­cover and fin­ish third in 8:11.71, just ahead of his Amer­i­can team-mate Stan­ley Kebenei.

The women’s 1500m also saw a crack­ing race de­cided in the straight, and an­other Lon­don cham­pion come out on top.

Jenny Mead­ows led a fast first lap in 61.80 but the pace dropped at 800m to 2:07.39.

Sifan Has­san took over and made a long run for home, pass­ing 1200m in 3:11.64.

The world-lead­ing Dutch ath­lete, who im­ploded in the fin­ish­ing straight at Lon­don and fin­ished fifth, tried ev­ery­thing on the last lap but world and Olympic cham­pion Faith Kipye­gon kicked past just be­fore the fin­ish to win in 3:57.04 from Has­san’s

3:57.22.

Laura Weight­man was in a bat­tle for third but ended up sev­enth in a sea­son’s best 4:00.71, close to her PB of 4:00.17, fin­ish­ing just 0.01 be­hind world sil­ver medal­list Jenny Simp­son.

The men’s 800m saw Bran Som lead the pack through in 49.61 and then Ni­jel Amos, so dis­ap­point­ing in Lon­don, kicked past 600m to lead in 77.09.

The Botswanan, who has been the top run­ner on the Di­a­mond league cir­cuit all year, looked vul­ner­a­ble in the straight and his last 200m was a slug­gish 27.44 but he held on to win in 1:44.53.

A sur­prise run­ner-up was Mar­cel Le­wandowski, whose late kick pipped his Pol­ish team-mate Adam Kszc­zot with 1:44.77 to 1:44.84.

Bri­tain’s El­liot Giles strug­gled with the pace and was sev­enth in 1:47.03.

The men’s 200m was a close race and won with a strong fin­ish from USA’s ex­cit­ing prospect Noah Lyles in 20.00. Close be­hind was Ameer

Webb on 20.01 and Lon­don cham­pion Ramil Guliyev, who lost his un­beaten record at the dis­tance as he ran 20.02.

Zhar­nel Hughes won the bat­tle of the Brits in sixth in 20.27 with Netha­neel Mitchel­lBlake sev­enth in 20.33.

The 2015 world cham­pion Sergey Shubenkov car­ried on his good late sea­son form, win­ning the 110m hur­dles in 13.14. Or­lando Ortega was sec­ond in 13.17 with world record-holder Aries Mer­ritt, who led early on, third in 13.20.

Shubenkov said: “At last I man­aged to win in 2017. I was bored of be­ing sec­ond like in

Birm­ing­ham, Stock­holm and the World Cham­pi­onships.

“Now I’ve got my first over­all Di­a­mond League ti­tle – maybe thanks to the sys­tem of one al­lor-noth­ing race in the fi­nal. But it worked for me, so I’m very happy!,” the Rus­sian con­tin­ued.

The women’s 400m hur­dles was a com­pet­i­tive race which world leader and Olympic cham­pion Dalilah Muham­mad nar­rowly won in 53.89 from for­mer dou­ble world cham­pion Zuzana He­jnova’s 53.93.

Eilidh Doyle had a much bet­ter run than she had in the World Cham­pi­onships and she was fourth in 55.04.

World leader and world and Olympic cham­pion San­dra Perkovic was a clear win­ner of the dis­cus in 68.82m.

Dani Stevens re­peated her Lon­don po­si­tion with a 65.85m in sec­ond.

The women’s high jump though was no com­pe­ti­tion at all as world cham­pion Mariya Lasitskene was a class apart. She cleared 2.02m and a dis­tant sec­ond was Yuliya Levchenko with 1.94m.

Third went at a mere 1.88m, with Michaela Hruba tak­ing that place. Bel­gium’s world and Olympic heptathlon cham­pion Nafissatou Thiam was also over that height in fourth.

An­other dom­i­nat­ing ath­lete this sea­son has been Ka­te­rina Ste­fanidi and she won the pole vault with a 4.85m clear­ance. Sandi Mor­ris was sec­ond with a 4.75m leap, a height matched by Alysha New­man in equalling her Cana­dian record in third. Holly Bradshaw was sixth with a 4.55m vault.

An­other suc­cess­ful world cham­pion was An­drius

Gudz­ius, who won the men’s dis­cus eas­ily with a 68.16m throw, while Chris­tian Tay­lor was also in dom­i­nant mood in the triple jump with a 17.49m leap. As in Lon­don, Will Claye was sec­ond again in 17.35m. It was Tay­lor’s fifth Di­a­mond Tro­phy.

There were three nonDi­a­mond League track races.

For­mer world cham­pion Yo­han Blake was a clear win­ner of a less than full strength men’s 100m in 10.02. Michael Rogers was sec­ond in 10.09. James Dasaolu was sixth in 10.24 and Harry Aikines-Ary­eetey was sev­enth in 10.27.

World cham­pion Eli­jah Manan­goi won a slow and dis­ap­point­ing 1500m in

3:38.97.

The men’s 400m was built around the three Bor­lee brothers but they could only fin­ish fourth to sixth. The clear win­ner was Luquelin San­tos in 45.67, with Rabah Yousif fin­ish­ing well for sec­ond in

46.10 and dou­ble Euro­pean cham­pion Mar­tyn Rooney third in 46.29.

PIC­TURES: JP DU­RAND

SHAU­NAE MILLER-UIBO WINS 400m IN WORLD LEAD WHILE EIL­ISH McCOL­GAN EN­JOYS 5000m BREAK­THROUGH

Ivana Spanovic: won with las­tround ef­fort

Eil­ish McCol­gan: rose to No.4 on UK all-time list with Scot­tish 5000m record

Shau­nae Miller-Uibo and Salwa Eid Naser both smashed the 50-sec­ond

bar­rier for 400 me­tres in Brus­sels

Noah Lyles (far left): missed the Lon­don 2017 World Cham­pi­onships but showed his abil­ity with

200m win in Brus­sels

An­drius Gudz­ius: Lithua­nian took dis­cus win

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