ATHLETICS: Miller-Uibo, Wilson and Williams star in wind-swept Diamond League in Birmingham

Ajee Wilson (USA) winning the Diamond League 800 m in Birmingham (Photo: IAAF)

“It’s a beautiful place. I better pack a raincoat and a sweater next time.”

American 400 m runner Obi Igbokwe just about summed up the conditions at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham (GBR), with the resumption of the IAAF Diamond League in front of a good crowd, but with a lot of wind and temperatures in the mid-60s F.

So the marks were down, but the competition was good and three women’s stars made it clear they are going to be the ones to beat at the World Championships in Qatar at the end of September:

Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) hasn’t been beaten in the 200 m since the 2017 Worlds and showed no signs of opening the door for anyone else with a commanding run down the straight for a 22.24-22.36 win over Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith. Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was third in 22.50 and Miller-Uibo extended her unbeaten streak in the event to 11 straight finals.

Another win for Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) in the women’s 200 m, this time over Dina Asher-Smith (GBR). (Photo: IAAF)

But Miller was hardly pleased. “The race didn’t go to plan. My start was just horrible and had to rely on that 400 m speed to get through. Before the race we had an idea of how we wanted the race to go and it didn’t go as planned so I’m happy for the win and ready to move on to the next.”

● American Ajee Wilson took control of the race at the bell and was never headed in the women’s 800 m. Facing a good field, she had to deal with a fierce headwind on the back straight, but maintained her composure and the lead over Lynsey Sharp (GBR) and finished well in front in 2:00.76 to 2:01.09. Jamaica’s Natoya Goule faded to sixth (2:02.70) while Wilson’s training partner, Raevyn Rogers, made a dash on the final straight to get up to third in 2:01.40.

Said the winner, “It felt good, it’s a good race to get in heading towards the back end of the season and prior to the World Championships. We don’t focus on times, it’s all about the win, that’s first on the list.”

● Jamaica’s Danielle Williams has the fastest time in the world this season in the 100 m hurdles and she looked like a World Champion-to-be with a dominating 12.46 win, ahead of American Keni Harrison (12.66).

Harrison almost didn’t make it to the final after hitting the third hurdle in the heats and making it only as a time qualifier. But running in lane two, she made a race of it despite not knowing exactly where Williams early on. “I couldn’t see her so I had to keep going because I knew she would keep pushing me. At the next Diamond League, I hope we can be next each other and bring out a good performance.”

The wind kept many of the performances down, but Belgium’s World Heptathlon Champion Nafi Thiam showed she’s in good form with a lifetime best (and national record) in the women’s long jump at 6.86 m (22-6 1/4), just a half-inch better than Serbian Ivana Spanovic (6.85 m/22-5 3/4) and fellow heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR: also 6.85 m).

Christian Coleman opted out of the men’s 100 m, so that left the door open for 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake (JAM) to win in 10.07, even while aided by a +2.0 m/s wind. Blake withstood a late rush from Britain’s Adam Gemili, also timed in 10.07.

Jamaica’s Omar McLeod was impressive in handling the conditions and his competition in the 110 m hurdles, winning in 13.21. American Freddie Crittenden was second (13.31) and Daniel Roberts – second on the world list this year at 13.00 – was fourth at 13.48.

The conditions held back the distance runners, but Kenya’s world-record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech, won the 3,000 m Steeple from the front in 9:05.55 from Celliphine Chespol (9:06.76), and German Konstanze Klosterhalfen fought through the wind to take the women’s mile in a national record of 4:21.11. Summaries:

Mile winner Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER) battling the wind on the back straight (Photo: IAAF)

IAAF Diamond League/Muller Grand Prix Birmingham
Birmingham (GBR) ~ 18 August 2019
(Full results here)

Men

100 m (wind +2.0 m/s): 1. Yohan Blake (JAM), 10.07; 2. Adam Gemili (GBR), 10.07; 3. Michael Rodgers (USA), 10.09. Also: 4. Chris Belcher (USA), 10.09.

400 m: 1. Akeem Bloomfield (JAM), 45.04; 2. Obi Igbokwe (USA), 45.54; 3. Matthew Hudson-Smith (GBR), 45.55. Also: 4. Kahmari Montgomery (USA), 45.59; 5. Michael Cherry, 45.61; … 7. Vernon Norwood (USA), 45.79.

800 m: 1. Mark English (IRL), 1:45.94; 2. Alfred Kipketer (KEN), 1:46.10; 3. Eliot Giles (GBR), 1:46.27. Also: 6. Erik Sowinski (USA), 1:46.80.

1,500 m: 1. Ronald Musagala (UGA), 3:35.12; 2. Stewart McSweyn (NZL), 3:35.21; 3. Craig Engels (USA), 3:35.51

110 m hurdles (non-Diamond League; -0.2): 1. Omar McLeod (JAM), 13.21; 2. Freddie Crittenden (USA), 13.31; 3. Wenjun Xie (CHN), 13.43. Also: 4. Daniel Roberts (USA), 13.48 … 8. Isaiah Moore (USA), 13.81.

400 m hurdles: 1. Yasmani Copello (TUR), 49.08; 2. Alison Santos (BRA), 49.20; 3. David Kendzeira (USA), 49.29. Also: 8. Amere Lattin (USA), 51.15.

High Jump: 1. Brandon Starc (AUS), 2.30 m (7-6 1/2); 2. Ilya Ivanyuk (RUS), 2.23 m (7-3 3/4); 3. Mathew Sawe (KEN), 2.23 m (7-3 3/4). Also: 7. Jeron Robinson (USA), 2.19 m (7-2 1/4).

Javelin: 1. Chao-Tsun Cheng (TPE), 87.75 m (287-10); 2. Jakub Vadlejch (CZE), 85.78 m (281-5); 3. Magnus Kirt (EST), 85.29 m (279-10).

Women

100 m (non-Diamond League; -0.9): 1. Tatjana Pinto (GER), 11.15; 2. Dezerea Bryant (USA), 11.21; 3. Teahna Daniels (USA), 11.24.

200 m (+0.4): 1. Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH), 22.24; 2. Dina Asher-Smith (GBR), 22.36; 3. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM), 22.50. Also: 6. Bryant (USA), 22.84; 7. Payton Chadwick (USA), 23.71.

800 m: 1. Ajee Wilson (USA), 2:00.76; 2. Lynsey Sharp (GBR), 2:01.09; 3. Raevyn Rogers (USA), 2:01.40. Also: 7. Kate Grace (USA), 2:03.19.

Mile: 1. Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER), 4:21.11; 2. Gabriela Debues-Stafford (CAN), 4:22.47; 3. Eilish McColgan (GBR), 4:24.71. Also: 7. Elinor Purrier (USA), 4:30.30; …9. Heather McLean (USA), 4:31.13; 10. Helen Schlachtenhaufen (USA), 4:35.70.

3,000 m Steeple: 1. Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN), 9:05.55; 2. Celliphine Chespol (KEN), 9:06.76; 3. Winfred Yavi (BRN), 9:07.23. Also: 14. Mel Lawrence (USA), 9:53.61.

100 m hurdles (-0.2): 1. Danielle Williams (JAM), 12.46; 2. Keni Harrison (USA), 12.66; 3. Toni Amusan (NGR), 12.71. Also: 4. Nia Ali (USA), 12.73; … 6. Brianna McNeal (USA), 12.90; 7. Chadwick (USA), 12.92; 8. Tiffani McReynolds (USA), 13.16.

Pole Vault: 1. Katerina Stefanidi (GRE), 4.75 m (15-7); 2. Alysha Newman (CAN), 4.65 m (15-3); 3. Jenn Suhr (USA), 4.65 m (15-3). Also: 7. Katie Nageotte (USA), 4.55 m (14-11).

Long Jump: 1. Nafi Thiam (BEL), 6.86 m (22-6 1/4); 2. Ivana Spanovic (SRB), 6.85 m (22-5 3/4); 3. Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR), 6.85 m (22-5 3/4). Also: 8. Sha’Keela Saunders (USA), 6.26 m (20-6 1/2).

Discus: 1. Yaime Perez (CUB), 64.87 m (212-10); 2. Dania Caballero (CUB), 64.59 m (211-11); 3. Sandra Perkovic (CRO), 63.80 m (209-4). Also: 6. Valarie Allman (USA), 61.42 m (201-6); … 10. Whitley Ashley (USA), 56.98 m (186-11).

Previous articleSPORT CLIMBING: Miroslaw repeats as women’s speed champ, while Fossali falls into men’s world title
Next articleBEACH VOLLEYBALL: Heidrich and Verge-Depre claim first-ever World Tour golds in Moscow