Track is my field: Mark Cullen's international track and field website featuring storytelling, commentary, and predictions and event analyses for the Olympics and World Championships. I'm active on Facebook and Twitter: @trackerati.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Brussels Diamond League
The Rest of the Stories
copyright 2018, Mark Cullen/trackerati.com, All Rights Reserved
I’ve covered the men’s 5,000m
in last night’s post and have now updated it to include 400m splits, courtesy of Track and Field News. Additional key information is that 18 year old
Selemon Barega’s 12:43.02 is indeed a world junior/U20 record. http://www.trackerati.com/2018/08/epic-mens-5000m.html
The Diamond League portion of
the Brussels meet got underway Friday with the women’s discus, and the throwers
played to a modest house. Unlike Zurich the night before, this was not a
sellout, and the stands filled more slowly in the sun-splashed early evening. Sandra
Perkovic lost unexpectedly.
It was Cuban Jaime Perez for
the win in a modest 65.00 (213-3) while Brazil’s Andressa de Morais - who had
previously been a regional star - made a big splash internationally by finishing
2nd. This was Perkovic’s first loss of the year; so dominant has she been that
she was going for her 7th consecutive Diamond League title. Instead,
she finished 3rd. The men’s discus followed, with Jamaica’s Fredrik
Dacres the champion in 68.67 (225-3).
An amusing moment came during
pole vault introductions on the homestretch of the track. The template for this
is that your name is called, everyone applauds as you walk out, then you turn
and wait for the remainder of your fellow competitors to be introduced and you
Apparently, no one gave
Armand Duplantis the script. Mondo - wearing his LSU kit - came out, gave high
fives all around, and headed for the vault, leaving fellow competitors behind.
“Hey, Mondo!” could be heard
from several of his compatriots, all in good fun. Much to his embarrassment, he
turned around, a bit red-faced this time, and rejoined his pole vaulting posse.
This was not his night, as
the European Champion finished 7th while Zurich railroad station
champ Timur Morganov (Rus) won for the second time in three nights. Sam
Kendricks (US) was second with Canada’s resurgent Shawnacy Barber 3rd.
Barber has reinvented himself in just three days.
A popular winner in the
women’s non-DL high jump was Belgium’s World and Olympic heptathlon champion,
Nafissatou Thiam. Australia’s Brandon Starc was a surprise winner of the men’s
high jump. A memorable time for vertical leap fans came when the men’s and
women’s high jumps and the men’s pole vault were al being conducted
There was a brief
interruption in the proceedings as this year’s inductees into the IAAF Hall of
Fame were introduced. Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey (sprints), Morocco’s Hicham El
Guerrouj (1500/5000), and Belgium’s Kim Gaevert (sprints) and Tia Tillebault (high
jump) were introduced to a warm welcome from the appreciative hometown crowd.
Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo
won the 200m against a deep and experienced field. Dafne Schippers (Ned)
blasted out of the blocks but was overtaken by Miller-Uibo down the stretch, 22.12-22.53.
It was surprising that Schippers’ result was allowed to stand as she clearly
ran out of her lane (on the inside lane line) just as she competed the curve
and moved into the straightaway.
Also with a textbook start
was 100m star Christian Coleman (US), back from injury in a big way – a 9.79
dusting of an outstanding field, equal 7th all-time. If only he hadn’t
been injured during the heart of the season…
Great Britain’s Lyndsey Sharp,
who, as writer Dave Hunter pointed out, was the only sub-2:00 minute runner in the
exhibition 800m field, won in 1:59.93 – fittingly, the only time under 2:00.
Emmanuel Korir (1:44.72) continued
his dominance of the 800m; there was no doubt as to who was king on Friday as
he won by almost half a second.
Great Britain’s Laura Muir (3:58.49)
won the highly anticipated women’s 1500 over Shelby Houlihan (US), while Siffan
Hassan finished her two-day 5000/1500 double with a sub-4:00 effort in 3rd.
Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov
continued his mastery of the men’s hurdles (12.97), while Brianna McNeal (US)
edged teammate Kendra Harrison 12.61-12.63, with Jamaica’s Danielle Williams
another hundredth behind.
Bahrain’s Salwa Nasser flew from
the Asian Games in Jakarta to Brussels with travel time variously reported at
14-16 hours. This deterred her little as she won the 400m going away in 49.33,
with 2017 World Champion Phyllis Francis second in 50.51 – a remarkable margin
of victory of 1.18 for Nasser.
Portugal’s Pedro Pichardo had
only two fair jumps in the triple jump, but his 4th round 17.49
(57-4 ¾) was enough to get the better of Christian Taylor (US), who has divided
his time between the 400m and the TJ this year.
Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen
pulled off the horizontal leaps double by winning the long jump in Brussels the
day after winning the triple in Zurich. She edged Great Britain’s Shara Proctor
by 10cm in winning with her 4th round jump of 6.80 (22-3 ¾).
China’s Lijiao Gong won the “street
shot put” – so named because it was held in a street near the Brussels UNESCO
Heritage site, Le Grand Place. Her 5th round 19.83 (65-¾) proved to
be the winner over Raven Saunders’ (US) 19.64.
The women’s steeplechase was
loaded once again, and Kenya’s world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech set a
meet record in winning in 8:55.10. She went out fast early but stuttered
stepped 8-9 times approaching a hurdle midway through the race, which slowed
her momentum just enough to stop thoughts of another world record.
Emma Coburn and Courtney
Frerichs were off-pace early and finished 4th and 6th,
respectively, in 9:06.51 and 9:07.07. In a sense, they had a great match race
of their own.
All those who thought we’d
see the day when two US steeplers running 9:06 and 9:07 would be perceived as
their having an off day, please stand up.
That’s what I thought.
China's Lijiao Gong, Diamond League Shot Put Champion