The 11th leg of IAAF diamond league was staged at Stockholm on August 21, 2014 after a long break from the 10th meeting at Monaco. The historical 1912 Olympic Games stadium, called Stockholm’s Stadion in the Swedish capital greeted star athletes on Thursday evening for the DN Galan meeting on a venue, which has seen more athletics world records broken than any other stadium in the world and as of 2008, that count stood at 83. On Thursday, 18 newly-crowned continental champions arrived at the famous stadion to compete for various DL events. In one of the most keenly contested 1500m race for women, American 2011 world champion Jennifer Simpson ran for her life to win a star-studded race. In another talented field, Ethiopian Muktar Edris won men’s 5000m with the season’s best timing. Adam Kszczot of Poland excelled in 800m, Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia won women’s 3000m steeplechase, Allyson Felix won 200m, Nesta Carter was a runaway winner in men’s 100m, Sandra Perkovic resumed her dominance in discus after an unexpected loss at Glasgow DL and Finland’s Antii Ruuskanen won men’s javelin. But Stockholm held disappointments for Javier Culson in men’s 400m hurdles, Sanya Richards-Ross in women’s 400m and leading men’s pole-vaulter Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie.
In strong women’s 1500m field, America’s 2011 world champion, Jennifer Simpson, produced a great performance in Stockholm’s cold and moist conditions. Ethiopia’s world indoor record-holder Genzebe Dibaba was running 10 meters ahead of everyone with the new European champion Sifan Hassan of Netherlands on second place. But just as Dibaba reached the final bend, Hassan was ready to overtake her. Suddenly, Simpson was at Hassan’s tail and at home stretch, when Hassan thought she had the field clear, Simpson accelerated marvelously to first pass Hassan and then surprised Dibaba with a charged-up sprint to emerge victorious in 4:00.38. Dibaba had to out-sprint the Dutchwoman to finish second in 4:01.00. Hassan was third with 4:01.62.
Ethiopian Muktar Edris held off the challenge from Kenyans, Thomas Longosiwa and Caleb Ndiku to win men’s 5000m with season’s best time of 12:54.83. Longosiwa and Ndiku were second and third with 12:56.16 and 12:59.17 respectively. In men’s 800m, Adam Kszczot of Poland beat world indoor 1500m champion Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti to take the top spot in 1:45.25, Souleiman was second in 1:45.49 and another Pole, Marcin Lewandowski finished third in 1:45.76. In women’s 3000m steeplechase, Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia maintained her leadership status to win in 9:17.04 from Tunisia’s Habiba Ghribi, who was second with 9:18.39 and American Emma Coburn finished third in 9:20.31. Women’s 200m was won by American Allyson Felix, ahead of compatriot Tori Bowie. In a closely-contested race, Felix clocked 22.85secs to Bowie’s 22.91. USA women also took the third and fourth places as Joanna Atkins came third and Jeneba Tarmoh fourth. In men’s 100m, absence of Justin Gatlin helped Jamaican Nesta Carter to win with 9.96 ahead of Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago, who finished second in 10.09. Great Britain’s Chijindu Ujah was third in 10.10.
Croatian Sandra Perkovic shook off her Glasgow setback to return to winning ways in women’s discus, though she could not move into the lead until third round. Former world champion Dani Samuels of Australia pushed Perkovic but the Croatian held off nicely. Perkovic, who had won at Zurich last Sunday with a 71m effort, could only manage 66.74m at stockholm. Dani Samuels was second with 65.70, while USA’s Gia Lewis-Smallwood third with 65.21. While many European champions had to be disappointed at Stockholm, Antii Ruuskanen of Finland won the javelin on a second round try of 87.24m. First round leader Thomas Rohler of Germany finished second with 85.12 and Ruuskanen’s compatriot Tero Pitkamaki, third in 84.73m. In men’s 400m hurdles, Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson had a good race until the last barrier but the 2013 World Championships silver medalist, Michael Tinsley of USA, pipped Culson to the second place with a fine effort at close. Tinsley clocked 49.60 to Culson’s 49.84. Trinidad and Tobago’s 2013 world champion Jehue Gordon was third in 50.13.
Jamaican superstar Novlene Williams-Mills continued with her great form to win women’s 400m Diamond Race despite being closely challenged by Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross. Williams-Mills finished in 50.09 to the American’s time of 50.27. America’s Francena McCorory was third in 50.65. In men’s pole vault, world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France suffered a surprise setback at Stockholm, merely five days after he won his third consecutive European title. Conditions in the Swedish capital were cold and windy and Lavillenie failed thrice just to clear 5.60m, a height, woefully short of Lavillenie’s world record of 6.16m. The loss ended the run of Lavillenie’s 22 consecutive victories in the event. It was a difficult moment for the Frenchman, who broke the 21-year old world record of Russian legend Sergey Biubka in February 2014. Lavillenie’s loss afforded fullest advantage to Greece’s Konstantinos Filippidis, who finished first. The second and third places were taken by Piotr Lisek of Poland and Xue Changrui of China on the count-back.
Australia’s London Olympic gold medalist Sally Pearson, who won the gold at the recent commonwealth games, was disqualified from 100m hurdles because of false start. The race was dominated by USA in a 1-2-3 finish with Queen Harrison winning in 12.66, Nia Ali was second in 12.96 and former Olympic champion, Dawn Harper-Nelson, third in 12.99.
In other results at Stockholm, Russia’s Mariya Kuchina won women’s high jump, South African Godfrey Khotso Mokoena won men’s long jump, American Tianna Bartoletta won women’s long jump and USA’s Reese Hoffa won men’s Shot Put.
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