Raised fist! An excited Barshim happy to have jumped 2.38m in Oslo. Photo Credit: @iaaforg

It is not every time that a field event athlete gets to become the standout performer in a Diamond League meet, however Mutaz Essa Barshim was the most outstanding in Oslo after scaling a World Leading and Meet Record (MR) height of 2.38m to win the men’s High Jump.

That mark by Barshim saw him surpass Javier Sotomayor’s long standing MR of 2.37m which has stood since 1989, seeing the Qatari athlete hold the top two marks in the discipline this year.

At 2.32m, Barshim and Bohdan Bondarenko were the only two left in the competition, but when the Ukrainian exited having missed all three attempts, the coast was now clear for Barshim who needed his last attempt at 2.35m to get the mark and proceed to the next height.

Roared by the crowd, he missed his first attempt at 2.38m but cleanly got it on his second try to get the record. At this rate and form, Barshim is the favourite going into the World Championships in London. Bondarenko finished 2nd with 2.29m with Derek Drouin 3rd with 2.25m.

On the track, there was a bit of drama in the women’s 200m after Olympic Silver medallist, Dafne Schippers looked to have false started in the race. On a day she was marking her birthday, Schippers who was the clear favourite to win, left the block before the gun but was controversially allowed to run as she came through in 22.31s

The Dutch athlete was later disqualified minutes after the race, but eventually she got reinstated as the winner, complaining before the race that she had an interference with the noise from the crowd. Murielle Ahoure who for some minutes was adjudged the winner, ended up being 2nd with a Season’s Best (SB) of 22.74s with Simone Facey 3rd also with an SB of 22.77s.

Meanwhile in the men’s 100m, Andre De Grasse is still waiting for his first sub 10s race of 2017, after winning with a time of 10.01s. In fact the race could have gone either way, with Chijindu Ujah 2nd in 10.02s and Ben Yousef Meite 3rd in 10.03s. Very close contest.

Another race that was very close was the women’s 100m where Germany’s Pamela Dutkiewicz dipped in first to take the win in 12.73s, and Olympic Bronze medallist Kristi Castlin finishing 2nd in 12.75s, same time as Isabelle Pedersen who ran a new Personal Best (PB)

In one of the shock results of the day, Norway’s Karsten Warholm stormed to a National Record (NR) of 48.25s, with Yasmani Copello 2nd in 48.44s and Thomas Barr 3rd in 48.95s. Former World and Olympic champion Kerron Clement finished 8th in 50.52s.

Botswana’s Babaloki Thebe will be delighted getting his first Diamond League victory, taking the men’s 400m in 44.95s, beating Mathew Hudson-Smith who was 2nd in 45.16s and Pavel Maslak 3rd in 45.52s

There was no stopping Caster Semenya in the women’s 800m as she came from behind to beat Francine Niyonsaba and win in 1:57.59. The Burundi athlete finished 2nd in 1:58.18, while Margaret Wambui made it an African 1-2-3 finishing 3rd in 1:59.17

Another highlight of the day was from 16-year old Jakob Ingebrigtsen who ran under 4minutes to win the 1 mile in 3:56.29, a new Personal Best (PB). Having won in Eugene, the youngster didn’t disappoint the huge crowd cheering him as he approached the finish line. Hicham Akankam finished 2nd in 3:57.66 with Abdelkarim Ben Zahra 2nd in3:58.58
Other field events
It was a nice spectacle seeing the men and women take turns to compete in the Discus. Undoubtedly Sandra Perkovic took the women’s category throwing a distance of 66.79m, but it wasn’t without great work as Yaimi Perez pushed her all the way, finishing 2nd with 66.24m and Denia Caballero 3rd with 63.29m

In the men’s category, a new contender popped up. Daniel Stahl came into reckoning with a win having thrown farther than all others at 68.06m, while Fedrick Dacres was 2nd with 67.10m and Philip Milanov 3rd with 66.39m

While in the women’s Pole Vault, Yarisley Silva made much work of the absence of Katerina Stefanidi and Sandi Morris, leaving it late to win scaling a height of 4.81m. Anzhelika Sidorova finished 2nd with 4.75m and Lisa Ryzih 3rd with 4.65m.

While in the women’s Long Jump, both Tianna Bartoletta and Darya Klishina exchanged leads, but it was the American who came out tops with a mark of 6.79m. Klishina finished 2nd with 6.75m, while Claudia Rath was 3rd with 6.63m.

However the talking point of the Long Jump belonged to Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who saw her wig come off after attempting a jump, falling just behind her as she landed on the sands. Okagabre finished 7th with a mark of 6.48m.

Raised fist! An excited Barshim happy to have jumped 2.38m in Oslo. Photo Credit: @iaaforg

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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