Stuart Weir writes a piece, each DL on how the British athletes did. This is his column on Bauhaus Stockholm.
Updated paragraph on Eilish McColgan on 1 June.
Brits in Stockholm
There was a good complement of British athletes in the Bauhaus-galan IAAF Diamond League in Stockholm this week. Some were topping the bill while others you had to look hard to find.
Triple 2018 European sprint gold medallist, Dina Asher-Smith, winner of the 100m in Stockholm last year and already with a Diamond League 200m victory in Doha this year (in 22.26), won again in Stockholm, with a scorching 22.18 world-leading performance. It was a victory over an impressive field with Jamaica’s double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson second in 22.66 and two-time world champion, Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands third in 22.78.
Asher-Smith said afterwards: “I am very happy with that – my aim was to come and win and run my own race, which is very important in a race of that calibre. I didn’t expect to run that kind of time as it is quite cold out and late at night. Next week I will run the 100m in the Rome Diamond League then I will be back to solid training.”
Last week Laura Muir lost to a British runner – shock horror – when Melissa Courtney beat her in the Vitality Westminster (road) mile. Muir, who has just returned from a training camp in the Swiss Alps, won a non-Diamond 1500m race in 4:05.37. With a fine display of front running Muir won by 4 seconds from Malika Akkaoui (Morocco). She said of her race: “I feel very happy with that – it is much more representative of where I’m at. Today was about the win rather than the time with the conditions as they are. I am happy that I executed the race well and got the win.”
Also in the 1500m race were Jemma Reekie (third), Sarah MacDonald (fourth) and Amy Griffiths (eighth). And for completeness, let us mention the pacemaker Kerry Macangus from Scotland.
Eilish McColgan was seventh in the 5000m in 14:52.05, a decent time at this stage of the season and only 1.58 seconds behind winner, Agnes Tirpop (Kenya)’s world-leading time. McColgan, who looked really strong at the end, was pleased yet left wondering if she could have done better, commenting: “I’m happy with that. This is the first time I have felt myself for six months. I am just a bit annoyed with myself that I did not take it on earlier” (updated June 1, 2019)
Melissa Courtney followed up her Vitality Westminster (road) mile victory last week with a PR of 14:53.83 for 8th place. Lynsey Sharp, an athlete who by her own admission improves with races as the season progresses, was seventh in the 800m in 2:03.52.
Relays are an important part of British Athletics’ medal strategy with 25 funded relay runners. A number were in action. Rabah Yousif won the National A 400m race – not to be confused with the National B 400m race – in 46.67 from Cameron Chalmers (46.70). The question of why British and Turkish athletes are allowed to run in a Swedish national race is above the present writer’s pay grade. And on that vexed subject Anyika Onoura was fifth in 54.92 a race of Nigerians, Slovakians, Dutch and Swedish athletes, appropriately called “400m women – National” (No A or B needed this time!).
Bianca Williams, another funded GB relay runner was fourth in 11.63, behind Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel (11.37) in the 100m women – National A. Emmanuel also ran in the diamond 200m race later in the evening.
Chris McAlister was second in the 400m hurdles – National in 51.32. In the Diamond race, Sebastian Rodger was fourth in 50.50 and Jacob Paul sixth in 51.29.
Rechmial Miller was fifth in the National A 100 in 10.53. Remarkably he was one of three athletes given that time. The unfortunate Miller was 2/1000ths of a second behind Gavin Smellie (Canada) and 4/1000ths behind third place Solomon Bockarie (Netherlands).
Michael Rimmer was third in the National 800 A in 1:50.83
Having a program of non-diamond races, not only keeps the early arrivals entertained but gives athletes a chance of a competitive race. It is particularly helpful for up and coming athletes to have the opportunity to run in a prestigious meet.