In what was a chilly and frosty evening in Stockholm’s Olympic stadium, it was the trident of Dina-Asha Smith, Daniel Stahl and Kendra Harrison who proved superior in their respective disciplines as they all claimed victories at the BAUHAUS-galan Diamond League (DL) meet.
Racing in a stadium that has been host to 83 World Records, Briton, Asha-Smith made it two wins in two on the DL circuit, cruising through the line to win the 200m in 22.18, the fastest time in the world this year.
She was so sharp out of the blocks and there was no pressure from her down the straight. Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson was a distant second in 22.66 after running strongly through the closing 30m.
After missing out in Doha,World record holder, Kendra Harrison showed her class by winning the 100m hurdles with comfort. She and Sharika Nelvis were side by side until the fifth barrier, at which point a slight shake from Nelvis allowed Harrison to pull away.
Her time of 12.52 is stunning in such chilly weather and a big statement from the holder, who has been working on her psychological approach over the winter.
Another American who showed his class on the night was precocious athlete, Micheal Norman. In what was his DL debut over the 400m, the quarter-miler eased away from training partner and usual 400m hurdles runner Rai Benjamin over the final 80m to win in 44.53. Benjamin crossed with second in 45.13, with Michael Cherry third in 46.30.
In the men’s 200m, Aaron Brown got his revenge on reigning World Champion,Ramil Guliyev as he claimed victory in the 200m with a 20.06s clocking, while Ajee Wilson took advantage of the absence of Caster Semenya to notch her first DL win in the 800m, clocking 2:00.87 in the process.
In the men’s 1500m, 2018 Diamond Trophy winner, Timothy Cheruiyot got back to winning ways as he clocked 3:35.79.
After pulling away from Samuel Tefera at the bell, the Kenyan cruised into the home straight leaving Ayanleh Souleiman in his wake with the Djiboutian coming through late for second ahead of the fast finishing Jakob Ingebrigsten.
World Champion, Helen Obiri had a day to forget in the women’s 5000m, as she stumbled with 1000m to go in the race, leaving her compatriot, Agnes Tirop to take the win with a World-Leading time of 14:50.82.
The last track event of the evening saw Karsten Warholm win the men’s 400m hurdles in 47.85 from lane seven. Tj Holmes, who was 1.40-secs back placed 2nd.
After setting a Diamond League Record of 70.56m in Doha, Swede Daniel Stahl stunned the home crowd in the men’s Discus, with fouls beyond 70m, as he eventually settled with 69.57m to take the win.
In the female category, It’s a Cuban, Denia Caballero inspired a 1-2 in the Discus as no-one could better her second round 65.10m effort. Yaime Perez, current Diamond League champion, was just 1cm back in second, while China’s Yang Chen and Bin Feng were third and fourth, respectively. Six-time Diamond Trophy winner Perkovic was back in fifth.
Home boy, Thobias Montler caused the biggest upset on the night as he took the win in a new Personal Best (PB) of 8.22m. Juan Miguel Echevarria placed 2nd with a last attempt leap of 8.12m.
Sam Kendricks won the men’s Pole Vault with a best jump of 5.72m, while Mariya Lasitskene cliched the win in the women’s High Jump, leaping to a height of 1.92m.
With no meeting record set today, the next Diamond League stop will be in Rome eaxctly one week from now.