Kenya’s 800m World and Olympic champion David Rudisha has lost another race from the verge of victory. But Rudisha was not the only athlete to suffer the reverse in the last DL meet at Stockholm before a month’s break. Under rainy conditions, there were upsets all around. Kenya’s Hellen Obiri and Ethiopian Dawit Seyaum were way behind in women’s 1500m, won by Poland’s Angelika Cichocka and Thomas Rohler, who threw an 89.30m bomb in men’s javelin at Oslo was beaten by Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman. Regardless, the 2016 Stockholm BAUHAUS Athletics track-and-field meeting, held at the historic Olympic Stadium brought cheers for some champions. Serbian women’s long-jumper Ivana Spanovic, French pole-vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, Croat Shot-Putter Sandra Perkovic, Spanish high-jumper Ruth Beitia, Bahraini women’s 3000m steeple-chaser Ruth Jebet, American 100m woman hurdler Kendra Harrison and her compatriot triple-jumper Christian Taylor all won their events despite the adverse weather conditions.
Kenya’s Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich won the season’s second DL race in men’s 800m at Stockholm. While Rotich’s victory didn’t raise many eyebrows, the fourth-place finish for his more famous compatriot David Rudisha was a huge upset. For 700m, Rudisha had stayed in front and seemed like winning just as he did in Birmingham DL’s 600m. At the home stretch, however, Rotich, who had been running on fourth place, went past everyone in one huge surge to finish in 1:45.07 while second-placed Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse clocked 1:45.23. Poland’s Adam Kszczot’s was third in 1:45.41. Rudisha dropped to the fourth place.
Poland’s Angelika Cichocka crushed the field in women’s 1500m and caused the biggest upset at Stockholm. At finish line, she was way ahead of others in 4:03.25 with her season’s best time. Sweden’s Meraf Bahta was second in 4:04.37 and Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay third also in 4:04.37. Kenya’s 2012 World Indoor 3000m Champion Hellen Obiri and Ethiopia’s World Junior 1500m champion finished 6th and 8th respectively, more than two seconds adrift of Cichocka. In another minor upset, Germany’s Thomas Rohler couldn’t emulate his Oslo DL win in men’s javelin. The German surprised everyone by hurling his spear through 89.30m just four days ago at Oslo but he could only manage 85.89m. Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman was first with 86.00m. Kenya’s reigning world champion Julius Yego finished third with 83.89m.
In women’s long jump, Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic continued with her fine DL performance to win with a leap of 6.90m. She beat the world and Olympic champion USA’s Brittney Reese, who managed 6.88m. Another American Tianna Bartoletta was third with 6.68. Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie added another victory to his career record in Pole Vault. Lavillenie cleared 5.73m to second-placed Canadian world champion Shawn Barber’s 5.65m. Latvia’s Mareks Arents finished third with 5.50m. Women’s shot put was once again won by Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic with 68.32m, nearly 3½ meters clear of second-placed Frenchwomen Melin Robert-Michon’s 64.92m. Cuba’s Denia Caballero was third in 63.85.
Spain’s Ruth Beitia won women’s high jump with a clearance of 1.93m, a modest mark by her high standard. Italy’s Alessia Trost was second in 1.90m and Kamila Licwinko of Poland third also in 1.90m. Bahrain’s Ruth Jabet won the women’s 3000m steeplechase in 9:08.37 ahead of Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech, who clocked a distant 9:22.56. Ethiopia’s Sofia Assefa was third in 9:27.73. Another expected performance came from USA’s 100m hurdler Kendra Harrison, who clocked a rather poor 12.66s but still beat compatriot Nia Ali’s time of 12.85. In a 1-2-3 for USA Queen Harrison finished third in 12.87. USA won another first place in men’s triple jump with Christian Taylor beating Guyana’s Troy Doris with an effort of 17.59. Doris managed 16.70 while USA Chris Carter with 16.52 was third.
It was a 1-2-3-4-5-6 for Ethiopia in men’s 5000m with Ibrahim Jeilan finishing first in 13:03.22, followed by Yomif Kejelcha in 13:03.66 and Muktar Edris in 13:05.54. Three other Ethiopians followed the first three. In one of the slowest 100m sprints for men, Turkey’s Jak Ali Harvey won in 10.18; second place was taken by Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite in 10.25 and third by Antigua’s Daniel Bailey in 10.31s. In men’s 400m hurdles, Americans Bershawn Jackson and Michael Tinsley could not finish the race that was won by Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson in a modest time of 49.43. USA’s Kerron Clement was second in 49.87 and Poland’s Patryk Dobek third in 49.89.
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith won the women’s 200m sprint in a field devoid of top stars. Asher-Smith finished in 22.72 while Jamaican Simone Facey was second in 22.81. Third Place went to GBR’s Desiree Henry in 22.88. Women’s 400m at Stockholm was the slowest DL race ever. Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills could merely clock 52.29s and still finished first. Britain’s Anyika Onuora was second in 52.46 and Italy’s Libania Grenot third in 52.62. New Zealand’s World indoor champion Tom Walsh won men’s shot put with a second-round throw of 21.13m, Poland’s Michael Haratyk was second with 20.54m and Canadian Tim Nedow third in 20.44.
Weather conditions at Stockholm didn’t favor the athletes, who had to perform under constant drizzle and cold temperatures. For this reason, many results were far inferior to world class. The DL series is taking a month-long break and the next meeting will be held in Monaco on July 15.