Curtain came down on 2016 IAAF Diamond League season with second finals in Brussels on September 9. The field had Rio Olympic medalists and second-rung athletes, all of whom came up with stellar performances to light up the Belgian night. Among celebrated athletes, who won the DL race on Friday were; Asbel Kiprop in men’s 1500m, Ferguson Rotich in men’s 800m, Conseslus Kipruto in men’s 3000m steeplechase and Almaz Ayana in women’s 5,000m. Just as at Zurich last week, 16 more winners at Brussels took DL crowns that came with the cash prize of $40000, a glittering Diamond Trophy and automatic qualification for London’s 2017 World Championships.
Kenya’s 20-year-old Timothy Cheruiyot scored the biggest win of his career in men’s star studded 1500m field. Cheruiyot was unlucky to miss Rio Games after finishing fourth in Kenyan Olympic Trials but he got his compensation at Brussels. At home stretch, Cheruiyot was threatened by Algeria’s Rio silver winner Taoufik Makhloufi and Morocco’s Abdalaati Iguider but Cheruiyot went full-throttle past them to win in in 3:31.34. Iguider was second in 3:31.40 and world leader Asbel Kiprop third 3:31.87. However, that was enough for Kiprop to win the Diamond Race.
Despite finishing fourth in men’s 800m with 1:44.59, Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich took the DL trophy based on his consistency in 2016 season. World record holder and double Olympic champion Kenya’s David Rudisha missed the event, won by Poland’s two-time European champion Adam Kszczot in 1:44.36. Kenya’s U-20 world champion Kipyegon Bett was second in 1:44.44 and Bosnia’s Amel Tuka third in 1:44.54. Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya won men’s 3000m steeplechase and also the DL race. Kipruto faced serious challenge in last 400m but he covered that distance in less than 48 seconds to win in 8:03.74. USA’s Evan Jager was second in 8:04.01 and Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi third in n 8:08.15. Ethiopia’s 10000m world record holder Almaz Ayana won women’s 5000m and with that the DL race as well. Towards the end, Ayana had in her wake, the familiar twosome of Kenya’s Rio Olympic silver winner Hellen Obiri and her Ethiopian compatriot Senbere Teferi. Ayana, however, won unchallenged in a meeting-record time of 14:18.89 while Obiri clocked 14:25.78. Teferi was third in 14:29.82.
Though Panama’s Alonso Edwards was already the DL winner by his participation in the 200m event at Brussels, the top three runners clocked a sub-20 second time in a photo-finish. In a thrilling 3-way battle among Jamaica’s Julian Forte, Great Britain’s Adam Gemili and Netherlands Martina Chaurandy, Forte edged out Gemili but both men clocked 19.97. Martina was third in 19.98. Jamaican double gold medalist at Rio Elaine Thompson won women’s 100m by defeating Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers by clocking 10.72 to Schippers’ 10.97. Another Jamaican Christania Williams was third in 11.09. Spain’s Orlando Ortega was the DL winner in men’s 110m hurdles by clocking 13.08 ahead of two Frenchmen. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde was second in 13.12 and Wilhem Belocian third in 13.32.
South African Caster Semenya gave another proof of her world supremacy in women’s 400m. She wasn’t at her best at Brussels but still won the race and the diamond trophy with 50.40. USA’s Courtney Okolo finished second in 50.51 while Jamaican Stephenie-Ann McPherson was third. USA’s Cassandra Tate won women’s 400m hurdles and edged out Great Britain’s Eilidh Doyle for the DL race win. Doyle finishing fifth didn’t help her cause despite coming to Brussels with a 6-point DL Race lead. Tate’s time of 54.47 was better than Sweden’s second-placed Sara Slott Petersen, who clocked 54.60. Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer was third in 55.05.
USA’s Sandi Morris became the third woman in the world to clear 5 meters in pole vault. She won the event in Brussels with 5.0m but the DL race had been won earlier by Rio gold winner Greek Ekaterini Stefanidi. Regardless, Morris came close to beating Russian Yelena Isinbayeva’s 8-year old world record 0f 5.06m, when the bar was raised to 5.07. Morris did her best but failed. At Brussels, Stefanidi was second at 4.76 and Switzerland’s Nicole Buchler third in 4.58. In women’s shot put, New Zealander Valerie Adams won her fifth DL trophy but lost to USA’s Michelle Carter at Brussels. Carter threw at 19.98 to Adams’ 19.57. Hungary’s Anita Marton was third with 19.11. Interestingly, the three women replicated their Rio podium finish in Brussels.
In men’s high jump, the top three finishers all cleared 2.32m but USA’s Erik Kynard was first on count-back to Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim while GBR’s Robert Grabarz took the third place. Barshim took the DL trophy based on his earlier lead. Men’s long jump DL crown went to Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre, who leapt 8.17m but finished second behind South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga, who did 8.48. USA’s Jarrion Lawson was third with 8.04. Poland’s Piotr Malachowski took the DL trophy in men’s discus, despite finishing second to Sweden’s Daniel Stahl at Brussels. Stahl won with 65.78 to Malachowski’s 65.27. Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger was third in 64.73.
Colombian legend Caterine Ibarguen had already won DL trophy ahead of Brussels but the world and Olympic champion still showed her supreme status in women’s triple jumps by winning with 14.66m. Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova was second in 14.41m and Portugal’s Patricia Mamona third in 14.16. Latvia’s Madara Palameika not only won the Brussels event in women’s javelin but took the DL trophy as well. The Latvian hurled the spear through 66.18 to second placed Czech world record-holder Barbora Spotakova, who reached 63.78m. USA’s Kara Winger was third in 61.86.
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