As Stuart Weir got over freezing in Stockholm last night, he sent this story for our reading pleasure. Some fine performances in the third of the DL meetings in 2019. We have a long season ahead of us, and Stuart Weir will be covering many of the meets along the way. Next week, Stuart is in Rome!
The Olympic Stadium in Stockholm claims more world records than any other stadium – 83 – but then it has been around since the 1912 Olympics. The stadium holds just 12,500 with 10,000 tickets sold in advance of the 2019 action.
Sadly the weather had not read the script. It was a bitterly cold evening with a strong wind and a bit of rain. What is it they say: when the going get’s tough, the tough get going. Dina Asher-Smith dismissed the weather: “Everyone’s got the same conditions and when you look back nobody wants to hear excuses ‘oh, it was cold; but it was windy’, they just want to know whether you won and what time was”. Keni Harrison took a similar attitude: “I try not to think about the cold. You just gotta get on with it and try and get to the line first”.
Asher-smith won the 200m in 22.18 (WL) from Elaine Thompson, Dafne Schippers and Jenna Prandini. Asher-Smith, who likes to keep things simple, said she had come to run her own race and win. While it is very early in the season, she is putting in some impressive performances. This was her second DL 200 win so far this season. Next week she will run a 100m in Rome.
Keni Harrison won the 100m hurdles in 12.52 from Sharika Nelvis (12.69). Harrison was pleased with her performance, saying that she was disappointed with her start but pleased with the finish. The time didn’t matter so early in the season. Her focus was now on the U.S. trials and selection for the World Championships.
Sam Hendricks was a bit up and down – if you know what I mean – in the pole vault. He took three attempts to clear 5.48, then took 5.60 and 5.72 with his first attempt. And having won the competition by this stage he rested on his laurels. The cold windy conditions also made for challenging conditions but Mariya Lasitskene (ANA) won with 1.92, with only the top three getting beyond 1.83.
Laura Muir won the (non-diamond) 1500m in 4:05.37, coming off a rare defeat to a British athlete in last weekend’s Vitality Westminster (road) mile. Timothy Cheruiyot won the men’s 1500m in 3:35.79, commenting that he preferring winning in Stockholm to being second in Doha – now there’s a shock.
Among the unexpected outcomes were the queen of the discus, Sandra Perkovic (Croatia) finishing fifth, not helped by 4 fouls. Perkovic holds the stadium record (68.77 in 2012) but could only manage 63.71 in 2019 . Denia Caballero (Cuba) was first with 65.10.
Hellen Obiri, World Champion, World Cross country champion, winner of the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run 10K earlier this month was only 12th in the Stockholm 5k. So she is human after all.
Thobias Montler was the surprise winner of the long jump – see separate post.
A number of surprises but wouldn’t it all be boring if the favorities always won.