Sunday, 20 August 2017 22:37

DIAMOND LEAGUE: BRITAIN SAYS BYE TO SIR MO FARAH

Written by Connor Craig-Jackson
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Britain’s long distance legend Sir Mo Farah signed off an incredible track career on British soil with a win in the 3000m race at the Birmingham Grand Prix.

Farah’s vintage late kick was once again too much for Spain’s Adel Mechaal to handle, as a jubilant Birmingham crowd roared Farah on to the finish line for the very last time.

The finish also saw a strong suggestion of things to come as Farah handed fellow Brit Andy Butchart his vest after the race, with the simple message; to “take over from me and inspire them (the public)”, as the Scot finished fourth with 7.44.10 minutes.

The future of athletics in Britain was also on show in the men’s 200m race, as 22-year-old who was one part of the world 4x100m relay champions, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake finished 5th in the men’s 200m alongside team-mate Daniel Talbot.

However world champion Ramil Guliyev proved once again to be the main man, as he sailed home to the win in a steady 20.17 seconds, ahead of Ameer Webb and Aaron Brown.

After a disappointing world championship campaign Elaine Thompson launched herself back to the top, being pushed hard by Marie-Josee Ta Lou while world bronze medallist Dafne Schippers struggled in sixth, just behind Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith.

Also back to winning ways was Caterine Ibarguen, with a final jump of 14.51 being enough to see off Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams, to remain unbeaten in the Diamond League this season.

The crowd were also treated to a sensational high jump competition as winner and world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim produced a world lead of 2.40m that put the whole crowd into sheer ecstasy, easily winning him the competition ahead of Majed Aldin Shazal who jumped 2.31m.

Meanwhile, a cagey but fiercely contested women’s 400m race was clinched by Salwa Eid Naser, with the surprise world gold medallist once again seeing off the strong American duo of Alysson Felix and Courtney Okolo to win in 50.59.

Also in her usual unstoppable form was World Discus champion Sandra Perkovic, overcoming an underwhelming start to storm away with the win with 67.51, While Denia Caballero just clung onto second ahead of fellow Cuban Yaimi Perez.

Elsewhere world number one Nijel Amos took a commanding victory in the men’s 800m leading all the way from the front, with another Kyle Langford kick this time not quite proving enough to make a big impression on the race.

The crowd were also treated to another heroic British performance on home turf when the ever-improving Dwayne Cowan produced PB of 45.34 to emerge victorious in the men’s 400m final.

Still unpredictable as ever is the men’s 110m hurdles, with Aries Merritt getting the slightest of wins over Sergey Shubenkov, with the two battling all the way until Merrit edged ahead in 13.29 seconds, as Shubenkov had to settle for second with 13.31.

A more familiar winner in the women’s Pole Vault was Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi with her height of 4.75m proving too much for Britain’s Holly Bradshaw, who saw off Michaela Meijer, Sandi Morris and Yarisley Silva to scrape second with 4.61.

With just two more Diamond League meetings left to go in Brussels and Zurich, many competitions remain all to play for, with some twists and turns surely still yet to come.



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