08 August, 2019

The Diamond League in July

Two legendary legs in Lausanne and Monaco and that of London kicked off a very hot summer for the Diamond Race. We get the low-down on the key performances in July in the run-up to the various national championships.

Lausanne

La Pontaise Olympic stadium in Lausanne saw the American Noah Lyles dazzle the sprint world with his tremendous talent on 7 July. Taking victory in the 200m in 19’’50, the athlete from Florida posted the fourth fastest performance in the history of the half-lap of the track, and has set a date for the Meeting de Paris, where he will be competing on 24 August with the aim of packing even more of a punch with a month to go to the Worlds in Doha.
Orlando Ortega also shone in Switzerland, winning the 110m hurdles in 13’’05 (+1.0), whilst the European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde made his comeback in a time of 13’’34. Jakob Ingebrigtsen set a new European junior record in the 1,500m of 3’30’’16, snatching second place in the race behind the Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot, who bagged the world best for this year in 3’28’’77.
Colombian Caterine Ibarguen jumped 14.89m on her 5th attempt in the triple jump competition, securing victory seven centimetres in front of the Venezuelan world champion Yulimar Rojas. The two stars of the women’s triple jump will be up against one another once again in the French capital on 24 August.
Whilst Mariya Lasitskene racked up another victory in the high jump with 2.02m, Piotr Lisek took the Polish record to new heights in the pole vault with a jump of 6.01m, ahead of Sam Kendricks (5.95m) and Renaud Lavillenie (5.81m). The latter two will also hit the road to the Charléty Stadium in August for a competition, which has lofty aspirations.

Monaco

The middle-distance race once again thrilled spectators at the Herculis Meeting in Monaco in a magical episode that they’re unlikely to forget any time soon. Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan, who trains in the United States under Alberto Salazar, beat the world record by devouring the mile in 4’12’’33.
The clash at the summit between Americans Christian Taylor and Will Claye has turned to the advantage of the double Olympic champion in the triple jump competition. Taylor nailed a season’s best performance at 17.82m, getting the better of his compatriot who jumped 17.75m. The two men will cross paths again at the Meeting de Paris on 24 August at the Charléty Stadium.
Five days after being beaten by Timothy Cheruiyot in the 1,500m in Lausanne, Jakob Ingebrigtsen pulled out all the stops to get his revenge in the Louis II Stadium, but ultimately had to bow to the Kenyan’s supremacy once more, the latter taking the win in 3’29’’97. The Norwegian prodigy will have another opportunity to secure the first sub-3’30’’ time of his young career at the Meeting de Paris on 24 August, where he’ll also be lining up against his brother Filip.
Impressive in Switzerland, Noah Lyles suffered a defeat this time around in the 100m, where the world champion Justin Gatlin laid down the law in 9’’91, one hundredth of a second faster than Lyles. Meantime, Piotr Lisek continued on a roll, improving on his Polish record by one centimetre with a jump of 6.02m in the pole vault.

London

Though the middle-distance race lit up the stadium in Monaco, it was the straight-line race that created a buzz in the Olympic stadium in London on 20 and 21 July. The Jamaican Danielle Williams was the first to strike, posting an excellent time of 12’’32 (+0.8) in the final of the 100m hurdles. Her compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reminded everyone why she goes by the nickname “Pocket Rocket” and boasts two Olympic titles by taking victory in the 100m in 10’’78 (+0.7) the following day.
Hellen Obiri ran a world best this year in the 5,000m following a delightful mano a mano against her Kenyan compatriot Agnès Tirop. The Olympic champion got the job done in 14’20’’36. German athlete Malaika Mihambo confirmed her spot as the new boss of the long jump competition with a jump of 7.02m, whilst Christian Taylor had to bow to the pressure of the Portuguese athlete Pedro Pablo Pichardo, winner of the triple jump with 17.53m, compared to 17.19m for the runner-up.
It was the same scenario for Mutaz Barshim, back in the competition after a spring punctuated by injury. The Qatari athlete had to make do with second place after clearing 2.27m in the high jump, a competition that ultimately smiled on the Syrian Majd Ghazal, who managed to clear 2.30m. Defeats suffered by the Greek athlete Ekaterini Stefanidi are just as rare, but it’s the Russian under the neutral flag Anzhelika Sidorova, who pocketed the points from a victory in the pole vault. Both athletes cleared 4.75m, but the winner required fewer attempts to get to this stage.