What a perfect ending to a not-so-great season for reigning World Junior Champion in the men’s 200m, USA’s Noah Lyles, who bounced back into reckoning with a win at the Brussels Diamond League on Friday.
The 20-year old was one of those tipped to make the podium at the London 2017 World Championships after storming to a then World Lead (WL) of 19.90s in May to win the Shanghai Diamond League. The time is ranked 4th on the 2017 standings.
However, things didn’t fall in place for the sprinter as he had to pull out of the World Championships after succumbing to injury during the US Track and Field Championships in July.
Nevertheless, he was the man to beat at the Brussels Diamond League, his first competition since making a return to the track. Lyles who ran from the outside lane, upstaged teammate Ameer Webb to win the 200m in 20.00s, inspiring the latter to a Season’s Best (SB) of 20.01s, as World Champion Ramil Guliyev also clocked an SB of 20.02s.
As such, the 20-year old becomes the youngest ever Diamond Trophy in the 200m. Certainly not a bad way to end the season!
Meanwhile, Elaine Thompson retained her Diamond Trophy in the women’s 100m, following a stiff competition with London 2017 double Silver medallist, Marie Josee Ta Lou.
The Ivoirian gave it her best shot, but the Jamaican pulled through to snatch the victory in 10.92s, with the former following in 10.93s. Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare Ighoteguonor settled for 3rd with 11.07s.
The men’s 100m was a non-Diamond League event. Former World Champion Yohan Blake was the man to beat in the race.
The Jamaican crossed the line in 10.02s to finish ahead of Michael Rodgers (10.09s), while Julian Forte and Asafa Powell clocked 10.12s and 10.18s respectively.
After finishing without a medal at the London 2017 World Championships, Botswana’s Nijel Amos left nothing to chance in the men’s 800m race in Brussels.
The London 2012 Silver medallist took off at the sound of the bell and steered clear of the rest of the field, racing to a winning time of 1:44.53. The pair of Marcin Lewandowski and Adam Kszczot posted SBs of 1:44.77 and 1:44.84 in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Faith Kipyegon added the Diamond Trophy to her Olympic and World titles in the women’s 1500m, holding off World Leader Sifan Hassan to storm to a Season’s Best (SB) of 3:57.04, with the latter settling for 2nd in 3:57.22. Winny Chebet was 3rd in 4:00.18.
Having succumbed to defeat at the Birmingham Diamond League a couple of weeks ago, Hellen Obiri came to Brussels prepared to defeat her foes, and she did not disappoint.
The reigning World Champion was dominant and maintained her lead, eventually taking the victory in 14:25.88, while Caroline Chepkoech was inspired to a Personal Best (PB) of 14:27.55. Senbere Teferi was 3rd in 14:32.03.
Beijing 2015 World Champion Sergey Shubenkov claimed his first Diamond Trophy after outrunning his rivals in the 110m Hurdles.
The hurdler returned a time of 13.14s, with Orlando Ortega following in 13.17s, while World Record (WR) holder Aries Merritt placed 3rd in 13.20s.
Olympic Champion in the women’s 400m Hurdles, Dalilah Muhammad proved too strong for former World Champion Zuzana Hejnova as she sped out of the blocks and powered down the home straight in an impressive time of 53.89s.
Hejnova clocked an SB of 53.93s, while Ashley Spencer clocked 54.92s in 3rd place.
Just as it happened at the London 2017 World Championships, Conseslus Kipruto (8:04.73), Soufiane El Bakkali (8:04.83, PB) and Evan Jager (8:11.71) were the Top 3 finishers in the men’s 3000m Steeplechase in Brussels.
It was a second consecutive Diamond Trophy for Kipruto who is the reigning World and Olympic Champion in the event. Despite falling at the final water jump, Jager still held his own to finish 3rd.