3 World Leads, Schippers beats Felix, A view from Europe, by EME News

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Schippers_DafneFL-World15.JPgDafne Schippers, photo by PhotoRun.net

After a World Championships, half a world a way mind you, performances are not expected to be anything special. But, as my keen observers told me, the crowd was sold out, and loud, the organization was crisp and there were some special battles.

The women's 200 meters is a look into Rio next year.

As Dafne told us after the Great City Games today, " I am now a sprinter."

Believe.



3 World Leads, Schippers beats Felix
BRUSSELS (BEL, Sep 11): The 39th AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme brought the 6th IAAF Diamond League to a close with a thrilling finale featuring 3 world leading performances. It was a good day for African athletics as Faith Kipyegon set an African record and world lead in the mile and Habiba Ghribi set an African record, meet record and world lead in the 3000mSC. The other world lead came in the closing event of the series, Yomif Kejelcha moving to the top of the 2015 world list. There was another Area record in the men's 200m, in which Femi Ogunode ran an Asian Record in his second race of the evening. Caterine Ibarguen looked set to suffer her first defeat since 2012, but moved from third to first on the final jump of the competition in a nail biting climax. There were incredibly close battles in the men's shot, in which the top three were separated by just 4 centimetres; and the men's 100m, in which 0.005 separated first and second. Dawn Harper-Nelson and Renaud Lavillenie were two athletes to come from disappointments in Beijing to claim Diamond Race titles here. In the most anticipated duel of the meet, world 200m champion Dafne Schippers got the better of world 400m champion Allyson Felix.


Event by Event Review

Men

100m: Gatlin nearly got beaten in a very close finish. Both he and Ogunode were given 9.98 (-0.4) - it was split on thousands: 9.974 and 9.979 - with Euro record holder Vicaut just behind with 9.99 (9.987) as he showed a good improvement on his ISTAF outing. Rodgers (10.02) and Powell (10.04) were also close. Gatlin picked up his third consecutive DR trophy.

200m (non-DL): Ogunode was narrowly beaten to the win in the 100m, but in the 200m he was a clear winner, clocking an Asian Record of 19.97 (-0.4). The others, led by Francis (20.22) were well back. World 400m champ Van Niekerk ran 20.37 for 4th.

400m (non-DL): The crowd cheered for the Borlées but it was Quow who finished on top with 45.29 over Kevin Borlée's 45.43. McDonald came in as the fastest in the field this year, but finished 7th.

800m: After losing to Amos at ISTAF, Kszczot held him off here to win in 1:45.12 to the Botswanan's 1:45.25. The Pole won the 800m in Zurich and Brussels after his world silver for a very good end to the season. It was Amos who won the DR, retaining his title. Tuka (1:45.45) and Aman (1:45.49) were the other top finishers. The top two from the world 1500m final, Kiprop and Manangoi were only 10th and 11th.

1500m (non-DL): France's Amdouni came in with the fastest time and showed that form by winning the European race with 3:36.92 over Australia's Gregson (3:37.14).

5000m: The 2015 Diamond League ended in top style with the fastest 5000m race of the year. Kejelcha ran 12:53.98 to lead four under 13 and take the DR title. Gebrhiwet (12:54.70), Iguider (12:59.25 PB) and Longosiwa (12:59.25) beat world silver medallist Ndiku (13:05.30). Rupp was only the third best US athlete as True and Hill beat him.

400mH: World medallist Gibson won in a close battle with Jackson, 48.72 to 48.76. The American went someway to making up for his Beijing disappointment as he won the DR for the first time since the inaugural edition. Kenyan world champ Bett was only 7th with 49.90 and claimed about stomach problems.

PV: While a world title eludes Lavillenie, he has never had to take the DR crown off. With 595 on his second attempt he won his 6th consecutive DR title. World champ Barber made it over 585 and then went to 590, 595 and then 600 to try and beat the Olympic champ, but he had no success. Filippidis cleared 580 for third.

TJ: The much hyped show down between Taylor and Pichardo lost some spark when the Cuban retired after three rounds. With Pichardo on the side-lines, Taylor leaped 17.59 (0.1), just 1cm from the MR, to win from the Cuban's 17.06 (0.1). The American claimed the DR for the fourth consecutive year, two points ahead of Pichardo.

SP: Walsh toppled world medallists Richards, Kovacs and Storl with 21.39 in an incredibly close competition. 4cm separated the top three: Richards (21.37) and world champ Kovacs (21.35). Storl was 4th with 21.09. Kovacs was only third, but still took the DR as he beat his rival Storl.

JT: Pitkamaki led from round 1, with his round 2 effort of 87.37 proving uncatchable. As Vesely picked up no points in 6th, Pitkamaki became the first Finnish athlete to win a DR. Rohler continued his great end to the season with 86.56 to beat Olympic champ Walcott (84.03) and world champ Yego (83.82).

Women

200m: Schippers came out on top in a thrilling duel against Felix which was decided in the final metres. The world 200m champion ran 22.12 (0.0) to pass out Felix (22.22) while Thompson was also close with 22.26. The US athlete still retained her DR title (her 3rd DR win), two points up on Schippers.

400m: World silver medallist Miller fulfilled her role as favourite by running 50.58 to beat McCorory, who ran 50.59 for second to win the DR title. McPhersen edged Hastings for third, 51.00 to 51.02.

Mile: It had been billed as Hassan's chase of the WR, but Kipyegon beat the Dutch athlete in Beijing and she beat her again here, clocking an African record and WL of 4:16.71 to move to joint 4th on the all-time list.It is fastest since 1996 when Masterkova set the World record. Hassan set a NR of 4:18.20, while Rowbury ran (4:22.10) to win the battle of the Americans against Simpson (4:22.18 PB). Hassan didn't win the race, but she won the DR, the first Dutch athlete to ever do so.

Steeple: After missing gold in Beijing, Ghribi made this race her own, storming to a 9:05.36 finish to break the African record and move to third on the world all-time list. The time is also a world lead and meet record. World champ Kiyeng ran a PB but was still nearly 5 seconds back on 9:10.15. As she didn't win, that meant the DR went to Nyambura; who only finished 6th here, behind fast times from Assefa (9:12.63), Ayalew (9:14.73) and Kirui (9:17.74).

100mH: Harper-Nelson fell in Beijing, but she wasn't to be denied here; she won with 12.63 (0.1) to take the DR title for the fourth consecutive year. The USA went 1-2-3 in this race and the DR, with Nelvis (12.65) and Stowers (12.76). World medallists Roleder and Talay were 5th (12.91) and 7th (12.99).

HJ: World champ Kuchina equalled her PB of 201 on her first attempt, as she did in Beijing, to win. She attempted 204 but couldn't make it. Chicherova made 197 on her first and then failed once at 199 and twice at 201, to take second. Beitia had to finish inside the top three for the DR title, and she did, winning the race by 1 point over Kuchina.

TJ: Ibarguen is a true competitor. The world champion's win streak looked set to end at 29 as she trailed to Koneva's 14.37 (0.5) with one round left and then went further behind when Minenko leaped 14.42 (-0.3) in round 6. But in the last jump of the competition, the Colombian reached 14.60 (0.2) to win and take her third consecutive DR title.

DT: Perkovic got revenge on world champ Caballero with a 67.50 effort to clearly beat the Cuban's 65.77. The next three - Muller, Perez and Fischer - finished in the same positions as they did in Beijing; the only difference in the top five was among the leading two. It is Perkovic's 4th consecutive DR trophy.

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