15 more athletes were crowned in Brussels in the second final of the 2018 Diamond League Season. Photo Credit: Diamond_League

After sixteen athletes were handed their Diamond Trophy last night in Zurich, the second of the two finals which took place in Brussels produced another magnificent night of competition amongst the athletes, as we witnessed some upsets in the Belgian capital.

Christian Coleman produced arguably the biggest performance of the night as the American roared to victory in the men’s 100m in a Personal Best (PB) and World Leading (WL) time of 9.79s.

The man who started the year by breaking the 60m World Record (WR) led the race from the sound of the gun, shrugging off competition from his compatriot, Ronnie Baker to win his first Diamond Trophy. Baker, who had a poor start was 2nd in 9.93s, while Yohan Blake placed 3rd in a Season’s Best (SB) time of 9.94s.

There was to be no upset in the women’s 200m, as Shaunae Miller-Uibo extended her winning streak in the event to claim victory in 22.12s.

Pounding the track in lane six, the Commonwealth Games Champion didn’t have the best of start, but coming off the bend, the Bahamian left both Dafne Schippers and Jenna Prandini in her wake to retain the trophy she won last year.

Coming of her record-breaking victory at the Asian Games, Bahrain’s Salwar Eid Naser didn’t show any sign of fatigue in the women’s 400m, coasting to victory in 49.33s.

Phyllis Francis, who beat the teenage Naser at last year’s IAAF World Championships in London was well beaten to second in 50.51. Her USA team mate Shakima Wimbley was 3rd in 50.77.

In the men’s 110m Hurdles, Sergey Shubenkov produced a textbook performance to clinch the win in a time of 12.98s. Shubenkov, who didn’t have the best of start came up with a lot of power and pace as he approached the last four hurdles to beat Orlando Ortega to the victory. Ortega placed 2nd in 13.10s.

The women’s 100m Hurdles final saw Brianna McNeal and Kendra Harrison face each other for the last time in the Diamond League (DL) this season. Two hundredths of a second had separated their SB, and it was the same story in Brussels.

This time around, it was McNeal, who nicked the win ahead of her compatriot, clocking a time of 12.61s, while Harrison placed 2nd in 12.63. Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan was 4th in 12.69s.

Emmanuel Korir took a comfortable victory in the men’s 800m in 1:44.72 as those he defeated placed second fiddle to him for most part of the race.

Marcin Lewandowski came closest in 1:45.21, with 2016 winner Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich following him home in third (1:45.28).

Just a few weeks after easing her way to the European 1500m title, Laura Muir claimed arguably the biggest win of her burgeoning career on the night as she blew away the best in the world to cap off a stunning season by becoming DL champion. The Scot clocked a time 3.58.49 to emerge victorious.

In what was a Meeting Record (MR) for Beatrice Chepkoech, the Kenyan was a class apart from the rest of the field, clocking a brilliant time of 8:55.10 to win the women’s steeplechase.

Her compatriot Norah Jeruto also ran a sub-nine minutes, but was well beaten came 2nd, as Hyvin Kiyeng, who has been so strong on the DL circuit in 2018, placed 3rd.

In the men’s 5000m, three men were in with a shot of victory in the last kilometer of the race that ended up as an Ethiopian 1-2-3-4-5!

In the end, Selemon Barega needed a WL, DL and World Junior Record of 12:43.02 to beat his team mates. Former DL champion, Hagos Gebrehiwet, Yomif Kejelcha and the World Champion, Muktar Edris were 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Field Events

Caterine Ibarguen is fast cementing her legendary status in the jumps, as the Colombian was the only athlete to win two Diamond Trophy in 2018 after she added the women’s Long Jump trophy to the Triple Jump title she won in Zurich.

The Olympic Champion in the Triple Jump took the lead with 6.74m in the third round and extended it to 6.80 with her next jump, which is seven centimeters off her all-time best. The jump was enough to seal victory for her.

Shara Proctor had a good series with her 6.70m jump for second, but Ibarguen was a class apart, carting home a total of $100,000 in prize money.

Sandra Perkovic had won every Diamond Trophy since 2012 coming into today and was looking for a record-equaling seventh in a row to join pole vault star Renaud Lavillenie on that mark.

However, the World and Olympic Champion couldn’t hold on to her title as she lost out to Cuba’s Yamie Perez who took the crown with a 65.00m throw.

Another surprise for some in the field events came in the men’s Triple Jump. Pedro Pablo Pichardo had the last laugh in his duel against double Olympic Champion Christian Taylor, as he won with a 17.49m jump. Taylor managed a best jump of 17.31m to place 2nd behind the Portuguese.

An epic men’s Pole Vault showdown ended with a very first Diamond Trophy for the 20-year-old Timur Morgunov. The European Silver medallist triumphed with a 5.93m jump in a truly outstanding field of athletes that included Sam Kendricks, Armando Duplantis and Renaud Lavillenie.

Australia’s Brandon Starc and Mateusz Przybylko of Germany battled hard in the men’s High Jump final. In the end, Brandon Starc just did enough to claim the victory with a best of 2.33m.

Finally, in the women’s Shot Put, China’s Lijiao Gong came agonizingly close to breaking Valerie Adams MR of 20.59m. However, The thrower was still able to clinch the victory ahead of USA’s Raven Saunders, registering a best mark of 20.38m.

Deji is one of the leading Athletics journalists in Nigeria as he possesses a deep passion for PR and branding athletes. He has extensively covered a wide range of sporting competitions, both within and outside Nigeria, with a particular focus on showcasing African Sports Stories. In addition to his journalistic prowess, he is well-versed in Sports Management and Marketing.


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