This is Stuart Weir’s second article on the second day at Zurich Diamond League.
Brits in Zurich
There were some stand-out performances and some disappointments among British athletes at the Diamond League final in Zurich.
Keely Hodgkinson won the 800 meters in 1:57.98. What a year the 19 year-old has had! European Indoor gold, Olympic silver and now Diamond League champion. She said of her race: “Natoya Goule is a strong front runner and I was determined not to give her any meters on me. It was a good race to finish the season so I am very happy really.
“It’s been a long year and I think that Vienna race [1:59.03 in Januuary] set the tone for the year. It was such a hassle getting there but it was so worth it. Then the European Indoors moving into the outdoors and on to Tokyo where I came away with a silver medal. If you had told me that last year, there’s no way I would have believed you because I was just hoping to make the team.”
I asked her to comment on her coach, Trevor Painter and his wife, Jenny Meadows: “They are amazing. I think I couldn’t be in a better position. Jenny has been there and done it all, been to all the championships. And Trevor’s advice and experience as well. I just feel I have the best team around me. Sometimes I feel I see them more than my own family!”
Jemma Reekie was fourth in that 800 in 1:58.61- fourth in the Olympic final and fourth in the Diamond League final – somewhere between brilliant and frustrating! She told me: “I think I ran the race well but I just didn’t have the last little bit, which is something I have to work on for next year. I am excited for the winter to get some work done. I am disappointed to come fourth. Training has been going really well and I’m just waiting for it all to come together.”. Her next race is the New York Fifth Avenue mile.
Dina Asher-Smith was second in the 100m in 10.87 and third in the 200 in 22.19. She told me: “It’s been a great evening and I am super happy. I was hoping for a slightly faster time in the 200 but after running a 10.8 in the100 I can take it. I am over the moon to run 10.8 after the year and the last few months that I’ve had. It was really hard coming back after the Olympics because I had a very intense rehab to do in the middle of it – and rehab is always much worse, for more intense, than normal training. That’s my season done am off to Spain on holiday tomorrow”.
Then there was Daryll Neita fourth in the 100m in 10.93, another PR. And Daryll never runs the 200 but accepted the chance when a lane came free and ran 22.81 for fifth place. She was clearly delighted with her 100m run: “I had a good warm up and I felt really good. I am getting used to being on the start line with the best athletes and you know you’ve got to bring your A game every time and bring out good performances.
“Running sub 11 has to be normal because that’s the only way you’re going to get medals. It’s been an amazing season to break 11 seconds for the first time and now to do it for the third time and in the Diamond League final with such an amazing field.
“All the goals that I set for this season – to qualify for the Olympics, make the final, run sub 11, make the Diamond League final – I achieved them all and even came away with an Olympic medal.
Holly Bradshaw was fourth in the pole-vault only clearing 4.67 at the third attempt and failing at 4.77. She said: “Today I felt really good, I was jumping really well, just missing that little bit of gas”.
Elliot Giles was fifth in the men’s 800 in 1:45.25. He said: It was good race and I finished strong but again I got myself in a bad position.
Other British performances were:
Cindy Sember was fifth in the 100m hurdles in12.71, Katie Snowden ninth in then1500m in 4:06.46
Chris McAlister seventh in the 400m hurdles in 49.73
Beth Dobbin was sixth in the 200m in 22.88
Efe Okoro won a pre-program 400m hurdles in a PR of 49.34 with Joshua Faulds fifth in 50.84, also a PR.
In the intriguing wheelchair handicap pursuit race and Nathan Maguire was sixth but Richard Chiassuro did not finish.