Sir Mo Farah sent the adoring London crowd into meltdown as he took victory at the Müller Anniversary Games, winning the men’s 3000m in 7.35.15.
Farah looked under pressure coming off the final bend with Spaniard Adel Mechaal right on his shoulder, but the four time Olympic and five time world champion found another gear as he always does, kicking away to send the London crowd into overdrive.
“The preparation [for London 2017] is going well – I’m grafting and continuing to tick boxes. Initially I was going to try and fit a 1500m race in between now and the World Championships, but this is my last race now. I go to Font [Romeu] tomorrow. This stadium is home for me, this is where my life changed and I made my name. The people make it for me.”
Back in third place Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton) broke his own Scottish record thanks to a 7.37.56 run having forced the pace with two laps to go.
Laura Muir (Andy Young) also put on a stunning show for her home crowd, coming within half a second of the British one mile record, which has been held by Zola Budd since 1985. The Scot, in only her second race since returning from injury, ran a fearless race, first tracking the pacemaker and then leading from the front. In the end she was beaten down the home straight by Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri, but it took a Kenyan and meeting record of 4.16.56 to stop the gutsy Scot.
Muir was more than content with second and a personal best of 4.18.03 however and commented post-race:
“I can’t complain with a PB, I am really happy. I took the race on and really went for it. Training has been going really well and I have had no reaction to the foot. It responded well today and hopefully it will hold up for the worlds. I knew Helen was in really good shape. I heard her on my heels but I gave myself the best chance to win and get the record. The worlds are still a month down the road and I am encouraged after today – I know I can come back
even fitter and faster.”
Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) also ran a great race, sixth in a personal best of 4.20.88, with Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark) eighth in 4.23.15, also a PB.
Chris O’Hare (Terrance Mahon) continued his winning 1500m run, digging deep down the home straight to pass Vincent Kibet and Filip Ingebrigsten much to the delight of the home crowd. Known as a gutsy competitor, the Scot once again showed why, as he squeezed through to win in 3.34.75. Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg) ran a strong race to finish fifth in 3.36.29, whilst Tom Marshall (James Thie) set a personal best of 3.37.45 in eleventh.
Post-race O’Hare said: “It was great. I knew with 200 to go I had a lot to do. I was mad at myself for that so I thought I had better go and hope there was enough track left and there was by half a metre. I feel so much stronger than I have ever been. I have put in a lot of work. I didn’t use any of my finishing speed until the last 150m.
“It is huge just knowing even in a 3:34 race that I’ve got the finish and could close down on the big guys so it is a huge confidence builder.”
Alyson Felix showed her preparations for the London 2017 World Championships are going extremely well as she set a world lead to win the women’s 400m. The American showed her rivals a clean set of heels, setting a world lead of 49.65 to win by almost a second. Despite finishing down in seventh Rio 4x400m bronze medallist Emily Diamond (Jared Deacon) lopped two tenths off her season’s best with a 51.67 run.
Elliot Giles (Bigg) went sub 1.45 for the first time in the men’s 800m in a race won by Nijel Amos in a world leading time of 1.43.18. Passing through the bell in 49.5 Amos was right behind the pacemaker clearly setting his stall out for a fast time, which he delivered in some style. Back in fifth Team Trials winner Giles squeezed inside 1.45 with his 1.44.99 time, a new personal best and enough to secure his spot on the team for London 2017. Also going inside the 1.45.80 qualifying standard were Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman), Kyle Langford (Bigg), Andrew Osagie (Mark Rowland) and Guy Learmonth, the latter also confirming his place on the team thanks to a second place finish at Team Trials.
American sprint hurdler Kendra Harrison set a new world record in the women’s 100m hurdles at last year’s Müller Anniversary Games and she was victorious again in 2017. Being put under pressure by Sally Pearson, who looked almost back to her best after a few years ruined by injury, Harrison held on, stopping the clock in 12.39 (0.2) to hold off the Australian who scored a 13.48 season’s best.
In the men’s equivalent London 2012 Olympic champion Aries Merritt posted a wonderful season’s best to take victory in 13.09, whilst Milan Trajkovic broke the Cypriot national record with a 13.25 time in second. David Omoregie (Blomkvist) was the only Brit to qualify for the final, winning his heat in 13.43 (-0.5), however he clattered the first hurdle in the latter, unable to fully recover and so finishing eighth.
Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson delivered the win that everyone expected in the women’s 100m, crossing the line in 10.94 (-1.4), ahead of her biggest rival Dafne Schippers who was just three hundredths further back. Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor also went sub 11, her 10.99 season’s best good for third, whilst Asha Philip was the best Briton in sixth. Earlier in the heats Daryll Neita (Jonas Dodoo) ran a terrific 11.14 lifetime best, whilst Philip posted a season’s best of 11.18.
In the non-Diamond League men’s 100m, Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Dodoo) continued his great 2017 form, beating a largely British field with a 10.02 (0.3) time, equalling his season’s best for the second time this year. Having won the 100m at the Rome Diamond League and finished second in Oslo with the same time, he was forced to miss the Team Trials final after suffering with cramp after a 9.98w run in the semi-final.
“It was important to show what I was capable of today, especially with London in four weeks’ time. I saw today as something of a rehearsal, so obviously it was great to get the win. You can’t dictate these races, I just had to be patient and work my way past people. I’m in shape for a PB – it’s just a matter of time. I knew I was in good shape at the trials, but I showed form today and that counts.”
James Dasaolu (Lloyd Cowan) also ran a great race to finish second in 10.06, a season’s best and his fastest time for three years, whilst Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Blomkvist) was fourth in 10.16, just one hundredth down on his season’s best.
In the first Diamond League track event of the afternoon Olympic 400mH champion Kerron Clement returned to form, finishing strongly to deny long-time leader Kyron McMaster the biggest in of his career. Clement ran a well-judged race to pass a tiring McMaster and cross the line in 48.02, a season’s best. Rio 2016 bronze medallist Yasmani
Copello also bagged a season’s best of 48.24 in third. Back in sixth there was another season’s best, this time for Briton Jack Green who ran 48.77, his fastest since 2012. Young Jacob Paul (Marina Armstrong) stepped up to the occasion with a 49.49 personal best in eighth.
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg) once again showed that she’s a real force to be reckoned with on the world stage, as she finished second to American Charlene Lipsey with a 1.59.82 run. In her fourth race in eight days Lynsey Sharp (Mahon) dug deep down the home straight to finish fourth in 1.59.96, whilst Adele Tracey (Craig Winrow) backed up her second place finish at Team Trials with a personal best of 2.00.34 in sixth.
Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson) had to settle for sixth place in a women’s pole vault won by Katerina Stefanidi, who cleared a huge 4.81m at the first time of asking. The British Athletics Team Trials winner went over 4.55m at the first time of asking but couldn’t quite get over 4.65m.
Tianna Bartoletta broke the meeting long jump record with her final jump of the competition, soaring out to 7.01m, which was also a season’s best. Katarina Johnson-Thompson was the best of the Brits in action, the multi-eventer jumping 6.75m (-0.8) with her final attempt to move up to fourth, with Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson) sixth with a best of 6.59 (-0.5).
Mariya Lasitskene was a convincing winner in the women’s high jump, a 2.00m clearance seeing her get the better of American youngster Vashti Cunningham, who ended with a best of 1.97m. Team Trials winner Morgan Lake (Fuzz Caan) couldn’t quite recapture the 1.96m clearance she produced in Birmingham, but a solid 1.90m effort saw her end the competition in seventh.
The trio of British men ran strong races in the 200m but none of them could deny an American 1-2-3, Ameer Webb the strongest down the home straight, winning in 20.13 (-0.7). Team Trials winner Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver) was once again the best Briton over the distance, fourth in 20.30, with Zharnel Hughes (Patrick Dawson) given the nod over Danny Talbot (Blomkvist), the recording the same 20.33 time in fifth and sixth.
Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan) continued his breakthrough season as he finished first Brit in the men’s 400m, which was won by American Michael Cherry. Cowan was third, smashing his personal best with a 45.36 run, whilst fellow Britons Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams) and Martyn Rooney (Graham Headman) fifth and sixth in 45.94 and 45.99 respectively.
Unfortunately Matthew Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley) fell out of the blocks and did not finish; thankfully he wasn’t seriously hurt, with London 2017 only a month away.
Jamaican Jenieve Russell ran a beautifully timed race to win the women’s 400mH in 54.02, a season’s best, forging ahead of the rest of the field down the home straight. Briton Eilidh Child (Brian Doyle) faded slightly in the home-straight going from second to fourth as a blanket of runners crossed the line together; the Scots time was 54.82, just down on her season’s best set in Lausanne on Thursday.
Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake) showed exactly why a race walk was a worthy inclusion in the Müller Anniversary Games as he broke the one mile world record with a stunning performance that sent the crowd into raptures. Moving clear of the field at the halfway mark, Bosworth, who is headed for London 2017 in the 20km event, continued to move clear as he crossed the line in 5.31.08. That bettered the 26 year old record by some six seconds and earned him a $15,000 world record bonus.
“I wanted to make today special because it’s the first race walk at a Diamond League, and I’ve wanted it for so long. In athletics you’ve got to have characters and personality, and in an event like mine, which isn’t seen on TV too much and is quite often misunderstood a lot, I think today was a great advert for race walking. I’m so glad I managed to pull it off and deliver.”
In the final track race of his phenomenal career six times Paralympic champion David Weir (Jenny Archer) delivered the victory that the adoring London crowd so wanted, crossing the line 2.02.37 to win the T54 800m.
Full results can be found here: https://london.diamondleague.com/lists_results_london