ATHLETICS: More history as Lyles first to win 100/200 Diamond League double with Brussels victory

Noah Lyles (USA) on his way to the Diamond League 200 m title in Brussels (Photo: IAAF)

It actually wasn’t a fun night for American sprint star Noah Lyles, running in the 200 m at the final Diamond League Final at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels, Belgium.

“When the official called: ‘Gentlemen, on your marks,’ it just starts raining. Also two pins to fix my race number were not fixed well and lost them while I was sitting down. And to be honest, I had to go to the toilet. My stomach was growling, although I went to the restroom before.”

Add in temperatures in the low 60s and these were hardly perfect conditions. Starting in lane seven, Lyles ran well on the turn, but had only a tiny lead over reigning World Champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey. But Lyles was able to power down the straight and won in 19.74, with Guliyev second in a season-best 19.86 and Canada’s Andre De Grasse at 19.87.

Added Lyles, “What a chaotic race it was. Nearly everything that could happen, happened. But I’m glad I could handle this. That is where I train my mind and body for everyday. Now I could experience that this is worth the work. It gives me even more confidence for the World Championship.”

By winning the 200 m, Lyles completes the first-ever men’s 100-200 m Diamond League double in the same year. He also won $100,000 by taking both titles and has a wild-card into the World Championships in both events by virtue of being Diamond League champ. But he confirmed that he will run only the 200 m in Doha.

Along with Lyles, there were five other defending Diamond League champions who won again in Brussels:

Men/200 m: Noah Lyles (USA), third in a row
Men/1,500 m: Tim Cheruiyot (KEN), third in a row
Men/Shot Put: Tom Walsh (NZL)

● Women/High Jump: Mariya Lasitskene (RUS), third in a row
● Women/Pole Vault: Katerina Stefanidi (GRE), fourth in a row
● Women/Discus: Yaime Perez (CUB)

Despite the rain, cold and some wind issues, the meet was highly entertaining and confirmed what to look for in several events at the upcoming World Championships in Doha (QAT):

Men/400 m: After Fred Kerley won the U.S. title in Des Moines in late July over world leader Michael Norman, the rematch finally came in Brussels. But Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield actually had the lead heading into the final straight, but Norman had the best finish and won in 44.26 with Kerley also coming on late for second in 44.46. Bloomfield was third in 44.67. That might be the order of finish at the Worlds.

Men/1,500 m: This event can be summed up in two words: Tim Cheruiyot. The Kenyan star stuck close to the pacesetter and then ran away from the field with a 55.8 final lap. Norway’s Jakob and Filip Ingebrigtsen came from well behind on the final turn to finish 2-3 with impressive times of 3:31.62 and 3:33.33, but well beyond Cheruiyot’s 3:30.22. American Craig Engels ran a lifetime best of 3:34.04 in fifth.

Men/110 m hurdles: Daniel Roberts of the U.S. was a no-show, opening the door for Spain’s Orlando Ortega to win easily in 13.22, ahead of fast-closing Ronald Levy (JAM: 13.31). American Freddie Crittenden was fourth in 13.35.

Men/Triple Jump: The U.S. went 1-2-3-4, with Christian Taylor taking advantage of a slight aiding wind for a 17.85 mw (58-6 3/4w) victory. World leader Will Claye managed 17.22 m (56-6) for second, with Omar Craddock third and Donald Scott fourth.

Women/100 m: Surprise win for Dina Asher-Smith (GBR) over Jamaica’s double Olympic champ, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 10.88-10.95. Good sign for Asher-Smith.

Women/800 m: American Ajee Wilson confirmed her favorite’s status for the Worlds with a convincing 2:00.24 win as some of the runners were shivering at the start! American Raevyn Rogers ran down three others on the final stretch to take second.

Women/5,000 m: The cool conditions were good for distance running and Dutch star Sifan Hassan took off with less than a lap remaining and torched the field in 14:26.28, with Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Giday second (14:29.54) and Germany’s Koko Klosterhalfen third (14:29.89). The surprise was reigning World Champion Hellen Obiri (KEN) in fourth.

Women/100 m hurdles: Jamaica’s Danielle Williams dominated the race, as she has the rest of the Diamond League meets, winning in 12.46. American Keni Harrison was second 12.73 and Nia Ali third in 12.74.

Women/Long Jump: Germany’s Malaika Mihambo made it clear that she’s the favorite for Doha, winning with 7.03 m (23-0 3/4), ahead of reigning World Champion Brittney Reese of the U.S. at 6.85 m (22-5 3/4).

In the other women’s jumps, Russia’s Mariya Lasitskene won the high jump and Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi won her fourth Diamond League pole vault in a row.

Prize money for the final was $50,000-20,000-10,000-6,000-5,000-4,000-3,000-2,000 for the top eight placers. Summaries:

IAAF Diamond League Final/Van Damme Memorial
Brussels (BEL) ~ 5-6 September 2019
(Full results here)

Men

200 m (wind +0.8 m/s): 1. Noah Lyles (USA), 19.74; 2. Ramil Guliyev (TUR), 19.86; 3. Andre De Grasse (CAN), 19.87.

400 m: 1. Michael Norman (USA), 44.26; 2. Fred Kerley (USA), 44.46; 3. Akeem Bloomfield (JAM), 44.67. Also: 4. Obi Igbokwe (USA), 44.96; 5. Kahmari Montgomery (USA), 45.31; 6. Michael Cherry (USA), 45.55; … 9. Nathan Strother (USA), 47.04.

1,500 m: 1. Tim Cheruiyot (KEN), 3:30.22; 2. Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR), 3:31.62; 3. Filip Ingebrigtsen (NOR), 3:33.33. Also: 5. Craig Engels (USA), 3:34.04; … 8. John Gregorek (USA), 3:35.52.

3,000 m Steeple: 1. Getnet Wale (ETH), 8:06.92; 2. Soufiane El Bakkali (MAR), 8:07.08; 3. Lamecha Girma (ETH), 8:07.66. Also: 5. Hillary Bor (USA), 8:13.90.

5,000 m (non-Diamond League): 1. Isaac Kimeli (KEN), 13:13.02; 2. Ben True (USA), 13:16.75; 3. Soufiyan Bouqantar (MAR), 13:18.74.

110 m hurdles (0.0): 1. Orlando Ortega (ESP), 13.22; 2. Ronald Levy (JAM), 13.31; 3. Sergey Shubenkov (RUS), 13.33. Also: 4. Freddie Crittenden (USA), 13.35.

Triple Jump: 1. Christian Taylor (USA), 17.85 mw (58-6 3/4w); 2. Will Claye (USA), 17.22 m (56-6); 3. Omar Craddock (USA), 17.17 m (56-4). Also: 4. Donald Scott (USA), 17.14 m (56-2 3/4).

Shot Put (held in downtown Brussels):1. Tom Walsh (NZL), 22.30 m (73-2); 2. Darlan Romani (BRA), 22.15 m (72-8); 3. Ryan Crouser (USA), 22.08 m (72-5 1/4). Also: 5. Darrell Hill (USA), 21.13 m (69-4); … 8. Joe Kovacs (USA), 20.60 m (67-7).

Discus: 1. Daniel Stahl (SWE), 68.68 m (225-4); 2. Lukas Weisshaidinger (AUT), 66.03 m (216-7); 3. Fedrick Dacres (JAM), 65.27 m (214-1).

Women

100 m (-0.3): 1. Dina Asher-Smith (GBR), 10.88; 2. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM), 10.95; 3. Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV), 11.09. Also: 6. Aleia Hobbs (USA), 11.29.

800 m: 1. Ajee Wilson (USA), 2:00.24; 2. Raevyn Rogers (USA), 2:00.67; 3. Winnie Nanyondo (UGA), 2:00.69. Also: 7. Hanna Green (USA), 2:02.47.

5,000 m: 1. Sifan Hassan (NED), 14:26.26; 2. Letesenbet Giday (ETH), 14:29.54; 3. Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER), 14:29.89.

100 m hurdles (0.0); 1. Danielle Williams (JAM), 12.46; 2. Keni Harrison (USA), 12.73; 3. Nia Ali (USA), 12.74. Also: 4. Sharika Nelvis (USA), 12.83; 5. Christina Clemons (USA), 12.84.

400 m hurdles (non-Diamond League): 1. Sage Watson (CAN). 55,58; 2. 2. Paulien Couckuyt (BEL), 56.68; 3. Ayomide Folorunso (ITA), 56.80.

High Jump: 1. Mariya Lasitskene (RUS), 1.99 m (6-6 1/4); 2. Yuliya Levchenko (UKR), 1.97 m (6-5 1/2); 3. Nafi Thiam (BEL), 1.95 m (6-4 3/4).

Pole Vault: 1. Katerina Stefanidi (GRE), 4.83 m (15-10); 2. Anzhelika Sidorova (RUS), 4.83 m (15-10); 3. Alysha Newman (CAN), 4.77 m (15-7 3/4). Also: 4. Katie Nageotte (USA), 4.70 m (15-5); … 7. Jenn Suhr (USA), 4.70 m (15-5); 8. Sandi Morris (USA), 4.63 m (15-2 1/4).

Long Jump: 1. Malaika Mihambo (GER), 7.03 m (23-0 3/4); 2. Brittney Reese (USA), 6.85 m (22-5 3/4); 3. Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR), 6.73 m (22-1).

Discus: 1. Yaime Perez (CUB), 68.27 m (223-11); 2. Sandra Perkovic (CRO), 66.00 m (216-6); 3. Kristin Pudenz (GER), 63.73 m (209-1). Also: 6. Valarie Allman (USA), 61.70 m (202-5).