ATHLETICS: Coleman & Miller-Uibo win Birmingham showdowns

The last IAAF Diamond League meet prior to the finals at the end of this month proved to be less than hoped for in terms of marks, but it featured two great sprint races in which American Christian Coleman and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas shone brightest.

The men’s 100 m saw Coleman, who has run sparingly this season due to injury, face the new European champ in Britain’s Zharnel Hughes and the co-world leader and U.S. champ Noah Lyles. The race played out exactly as the script was set.

Coleman rocketed to the lead, as expected from the 60 m indoor world-record holder, but he couldn’t maintain his lead as Britain’s Reece Prescod – the European silver medalist – and Lyles both gained ground in the final 30 m. At the line, Coleman barely hung on, winning by 1/1,000th – 9.938 to 9.939 – a lifetime best for Prescod, while Lyles ran out of race and finished third in 9.98.

“I felt pretty good,” said Coleman afterwards. “It was a sigh of relief. because you never know what to expect when you come back from injury and I got my rhythm back and I came out with the win in a good time. I was looking forward to competing and the win is the icing on the cake.

“It’s been a test for me to continually prove myself but I’ll use this as a learning experience, now it’s about winning the Diamond League finals.”

Lyles had his usual slow start and explained that “During my fourth step I had a really big stumble and I was thinking I needed to get back on top of myself, which is what me and my coach have decided to do in a dire situation. I felt like I was lagging at the end of it but I had to push to the line. If I started giving up on myself I wouldn’t have done that well.

“Sometimes a loss is what you need the most to get you back into a psychological place that you’re not the best of all time and that you need to keep digging.”

Coleman and Prescod advanced easily to the Diamond League final, but Lyles is the first alternate if anyone drops out.

Miller-Uibo faced a world-class field in the women’s 200 m, including Britain’s new world leader, Dina Asher-Smith, who ran 21.89 at the European Championships. Coming off the turn, it was Dutch star Dafne Schippers who had the lead, but Miller-Uibo blew past her, as did Asher-Smith for a 22.15-22.31-22.41 final.

“Everything went really well, just as we planned,” said the winner. “The main thing for me was just to have a great curve race and once I put myself into the race off the curve I used my 400 strength to power home. It was a really competitive race and everybody brought their A-game.”

There was some obvious fatigue from some of the Europeans after the strain of the European Championships in Berlin last week, including the 800 m, where Kenyans Emmanuel Korir, Jonathan Kitilit, Elijah Manangoi and Ferguson Rotich put on a brilliant show, placing 1-2-3-4 in 1:42.79, 1:43.53, 1:44.15 and 1:44.44. Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski ran 1:44.75, but could only claim fifth!

It was Korir’s second sub-1:43 race of the season.

The meet was marked by high winds, which played havoc with some of the field events, including the women’s pole vault. Sandi Morris of the U.S. managed the situation best and cleared 4.62 m (15-1 3/4) on her first try and that was enough to win. Greece’s Olympic champ Katerina Stefanidi cleared 4.52 m (14-10) for second, but with difficulty.

“It was difficult conditions today but what bothered me most was having to get up early,” she said. “At the European Champs we were competing at 8 or 9 p.m. and today it was 1 p.m. and I’m not normally up by then.

“I tried waking up earlier today to be more activated and switched on but it didn’t work. The season started really hard and I’ve had to change a lot of my training because I wasn’t doing that well. The goal was the European Championships and to win and I managed that. For how the season started I’m happy with how it’s ended. I would like to defend the Diamond League title, but more importantly finish the season healthy.”

American Fred Kerley came back from a long layoff to win the 400 m in a modest 45.54 and Colleen Quigley moved to no. 8 on the all-time U.S. list in the women’s 1,000 m with a fifth-place finish of 2:36.53. Also worth noting was a huge best for longer-distance star Paul Chelimo of the U.S. in the mile, as he used his usual finishing rush for third in 3:55.96. Summaries:

IAAF Diamond League/Muller Grand Prix
Birmingham (GBR) ~ 18 August 2018
(Full results here)

100 m (wind: -0.5 m/s): 1. Christian Coleman (USA), 9.94; 2. Reece Prescod (GBR), 9.94; 3. Noah Lyles (USA), 9.98. Also: 9. Michael Rodgers (USA), 10.22.

400 m: 1. Fred Kerley (USA), 45.54; 2. Matthew Hudson-Smith (GBR), 45.59; 3. Paul Dedewo (USA), 45.62. Also: 4. Christian Taylor (USA), 45.78.

800 m: 1. Emmanuel Korir (KEN), 1:42.79; 2. Jonathan Kitilit (KEN), 1:43.53; 3. Elijah Manangoi (KEN), 1:44.15. Also: 8. Erik Sowinski (USA), 1:45.68; … 10. Clayton Murphy (USA), 1:47.80.

Mile (invitational event): 1. Stewart McSweyn (AUS), 3:54.60; 2. Ryan Gregson (AUS), 3:55.10; 3. Paul Chelimo (USA), 3:55.96. Also: 10. Andrew Hunter (USA), 3:58.62; … 15. Eric Avila (USA), 4:09.49.

3,000 m Steeple: 1. Conseslus Kipruto (KEN), 8:14.33; 2. Chaya Beto (ETH), 8:14.61; 3. Nicholas Bett (KEN), 8:16.44. Also: 8. Hillary Bor (USA), 8:30.04; … 13. Mason Ferlic (USA), 8:40.74.

110 m Hurdles (+1.3 m/s): 1. Orlando Ortega (ESP), 13.08; 2. Ronald Levy (JAM), 13.22; 3. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (FRA), 13.27. Also: 4. Freddie Crittenden (USA), 13.27.

High Jump: 1. Brandon Starc (AUS), 2.33 m (7-7 3/4); 2. Michael Mason (CAN), 2.30 m (7-6 1/2); 3. Jeron Robinson (USA), 2.30 m (7-6 1/2). Also: 6. Brian McBride (USA), 2.20 m (7-2 1/2).

Long Jump (invitational): 1. Luvo Manyonga (RSA), 8.53 m (28-0); 2. Tajay Gayle (JAM), 8.17 m (26-9 3/4); 3. Henry Frayne (AUS), 8.01 m (26-3 1/2).

Javelin: 1. Andreas Hofmann (GER), 89.82 (294-8); 2. Julian Weber (GER), 86.63 m (284-2); 3. Magnus Kirt (EST), 85.31 m (279-10).

200 m (+0.4 m/s): 1. Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH), 22.15; 2. Dina Asher-Smith (GBR), 22.31; 3. Dafne Schippers (NED), 22.41. Also: 5. Jenna Prandini (USA), 22.58; 6. Gabby Thomas (USA), 22.85.

1,000 m (invitational): 1. Laura Muir (GBR), 2:33.92; 2. Renelle Lamote (FRA), 2:34.48; 3. Adelle Tracey (GBR), 2:34.59. Also: 5. Colleen Quigley (USA), 2:36.53; … 10. Kaela Edwards (USA), 2:42.17.

1,500 m: 1. Sifan Hassan (NED), 4:00.60; 2. Gudaf Tsegay (ETH), 4:01.03; 3. Sofia Ennaoui (POL), 4:02.06. Also: 8. Kate Grace (USA), 4:04.64; … 13. Brenda Martinez (USA), 4:12.90.

3,000 m: 1. Agnes Kirop (KEN), 8:32.21; 2. Lilian Rengeruk (KEN), 8:33.43; 3. Hellen Obiri (KEN), 8:36.26. Also: 14. Katie Mackey (USA), 8:53.18.

100 m Hurdles (invitational; -0.6 m/s): 1. Pam Dutkiewicz (GER), 12.84; 2. Cindy Roleder (GER), 12.96; 3. Nadine Visser (NED), 13.07.

400 m Hurdles: 1. Lea Sprunger (SUI), 54.86; 2. Janieve Russell (JAM), 54.91; 3. Meghan Beesley (GBR), 55.83.

Pole Vault: 1. Sandi Morris (USA), 4.62 m (15-1 3/4); 2. Katerina Stefanidi (GRE), 4.52 m (14-10); 3. Nikoleta Kyrialopoulou (GRE), 4.40 m (14-5 1/4). Also: 4. Katie Nageotte (USA), 4.40 m (14-5 1/4)

Long Jump: 1. Malaika Mihambo (GER), 6.96 m (22-10); 2. Caterine Ibarguen (COL), 6.80 m (22-3 3/4); 3. Shara Proctor (GBR), 6.70 m (21-11 3/4). Also: 8. Shakeela Saunders (USA), 6.38 m (20-11 1/4).

Shot Put: 1. Christina Schwanitz (GER), 18.20 m (59-8 1/2); 2. Paulina Guba (POL), 17.92 m (58-9 1/2); 3. Melissa Boekelman (NED), 17.78 m (58-4). Also: 6. Michelle Carter (USA), 17.39 m (57-0 3/4).