A happy Noah Lyles after successfully retaining his Diamond Trophy. Photo Credit: @Diamond_League

The first of the two Diamond League finals took place this evening in Zurich, and it surely produced the sort of excitement expected in a meet of such magnitude.

There were 16 Diamond Trophy winners across different disciplines, and although most of the favourites emerged winners in their events, there were a couple of events that produced some upsets.

While many expected the women’s 100m to have been a straight contest between Marie Josee Ta Lou and Dina Asher-Smith, Murielle Ahoure surprised many to win the race with a time of 11.01s. Ahoure was a clear winner in 1st place with Asher-Smith finishing 2nd in 11.08s and Ta Lou 3rd in 11.10s. Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor was disqualified for a false start.

There was to be no upset in the men’s 200m as the favourite, Noah Lyles stopped the clocked at 19.67s, narrowly missing out on Usain Bolt’s Meeting Record (MR) of 19.66s. Ramil Guliyev was 2nd in 19.98s and Jereem Richards finishing 3rd.

Meanwhile in the men’s 400m, favourite Steven Gardiner did not finish (DNF), giving room for Fred Kerley to make the best use of the opportunity and win with a time of 44.80s. Nathan Strother was 2nd in 44.93s and Matthew Hudson-Smith 3rd in 44.95s.

Despite his shoe laces coming off, Kyron McMaster was not deterred as he aimed for the line to win the men’s 400m Hurdles ahead of Karsten Warholm. McMaster retained his Diamond Trophy winning a time of 48.08s and Warholm 2nd in 48.10s. Yasmani Copello was 3rd in 48.73s

No one could stop Caster Semenya in the women’s 800m, with the South African comfortably winning the women’s 800m in 1:55.27, Ajee Wilson was 2nd in 1:57.86 and Natoya Goule 3rd in 1:58.49

In the men’s 1500m, Timothy Cheruiyot got the better of his teammate Elijah Manangoi, successfully retaining his Diamond Trophy with a time of 3:30.27. Manangoi finished 2nd in 3:31.16 and Ayanleh Souleiman finished 3rd in 3:31.24.

Conseslus Kipruto always brings entertainment in men’s 3000m Steeplechase, and he didn’t disappoint as he claimed victory, finishing his race with just one shoe. Kipruto won with a time of 8:15.10, beating El Bakkali who finished 2nd in 8:19.10.

Hellen Obiri hung on for dear life, and although Sifan Hassan pushed to overtake her in the home straight, the Kenyan did not wilt under pressure, winning the women’s 5000m with a time of 14:38.39. Hassan finished 2nd in 14:38.77 and Senbere Teferi 3rd in 14:40.97.

Field Events

Arguably the performance of the day came in the men’s Shot Put, where Tom Walsh threw a Diamond League and Meeting Record of 22.60m to secure victory. Although Darrell Hill and Ryan Crouser threw marks that were over 22m, it was still not enough to ruffle Walsh who easily won the contest.

For Caterine Ibarguen, she reclaimed the women’s Triple Jump Diamond Trophy winning with her best jump of 14.56m which she jumped in her second attempt. Jamaican duo of Kimberly Williams and Shanieka Ricketts did fight till the end, but Ibarguen’s lead stayed till the end as she claimed the title.

In the women’s High Jump, Mariya Lasitskene was back to winning ways after her rare defeat the last time out in Rabat, holding off the challenge of Yuliya Levchenko to win with a mark of 1.97m.

Luvo Manyonga beat his compatriot Ruswahl Samaai, leaving it late until his last attempt to successfully retain his Diamond Trophy in the Long Jump with a mark of 8.36m.

In the men’s Javelin, Andreas Hoffman was at his best, throwing a distance of 91.44m to secure the victory, while the women’s Pole Vault saw Katerina Stefanidi outlasting Sandi Morris to win with a mark of 4.87m.

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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