Here’s Stuart Weir’s feature on the surprises in the second day of the London Diamong League Meeting. I like the title, Tales of the Unexpected. Some surprises in the 200 meters, Mile, and the 100 meter hurdles.
Tales of the unexpected
Track and Field is so predictable! Obviously in the last three races of the Anniversary Games:
The women’s 200 would be a shoot-out between Marie-Josee Ta Lou and the local heroine Dina Asher-Smith, Keni Harrison would win the 100h and Laura Muir would break the long standing British mile record. One out of three correct.
Keni Harrison (12.36 – world lead) duly won the 100h from Brianna McNeal (12.47), who had been fastest (12.41) in the prelim. The thoughtful Harrison commented: “I wanted to come out here and run fast and come across the line first which I did. I think I hit a few hurdles so I know I can run faster. It’s all about what happens at the end of the line that matters, not in the middle”.
Asher-Smith (22.25) and Ta Lou (22.34) each ran season’s bests but finished 4th and 5th. Jenna Prandini won with a PR of 22.16 with Gabriele Thomas also a PR of 22.19 second. Prandini summed up her race: “I felt great in a great field and running a PR in that is awesome. I wanted to stay as relaxed as I could and I did. I think I’ve run against everyone already this season so I wanted to run my race and I won which is great. With no World Championships this year, the Diamond League is my most important event and getting into the final and winning that trophy is my main aim”.
The Millicent Martin mile, named after a pioneer of the suffragette movement, was a fabulous race. The BBC website headline “Laura Muir misses record” betrayed a little-Englander mentality but if you read to line 20 of the report you will find out that Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) won the race.
Jenny Simpson tweeted a picture of athletes strewn on the track exhausted, pointing out that event the mascot, Brit Bear had to lie down!
Hassan won in 4:14.71, a world lead and there were 9 PRs among the 14 finishers, although it has to be remembered that the mile is not commonly run. Incidentally Hassan went through 1500m in 3:57.41. She said afterwards: “It’s unbelievable how fast I ran today. I have the endurance and speed but don’t normally have the last kick and today I did. Luckily I’m able to say I have the meeting record and Diamond League record today but it will be incredible to see how fast I can actually run in the future. I’ve managed to run a huge PB and it’s almost four seconds quicker but it shows that my season is only just starting”.