Just when we though the Americans were beginning to dominate the women’s 100m Hurdles, Jamaica’s Danielle Williams produced a magnificent display of power sprinting, as her victory in the event highlighted Day one of the London Diamond League (DL).
Williams, the 2015 World Champion, took the win in a solid World Lead (WL), National Record (NR) and Personal Best (PB) of 12.32s, edging USA’s Nia Ali, who clocked a Season’s Best (SB) of 12.57s.
Queen Claye edged off Jamaica’s Meghan Tapper by 0.02 with 12.64 to win the close battle for 3rd place. Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan placed 5th in the race.
Reigning Commonwealth Games Champion Akani Simbine came out unscathed in what was a very close 100m race.
After sizzling in the heats, the South African peeled his way down the track to take the maximum eight points with an SB of 9.93. Homeboy, Zharnel Hughes ran an SB of 9.95s for 2nd, while Yohan Blake was 3rd in 9.97.
It’s a win which makes Simbine just the second qualifier – after Christian Coleman – for the men’s 100m Diamond League Final.
In the men’s 800m Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich already had his place in the final locked down, but he added an extra few locks of cement with an eight-point haul in London.
The Kenyan clocked 1:43.14 to pick up his first victory on the road to the final this season, becoming the first person other than Nijel Amos to win the 800m on the circuit in 2019.
Amos, incidentally, didn’t make it to the final straight. The Botswanan, a multiple Diamond Trophy winner, pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring strain mid-race.
Britain’s Laura Muir got the crowd screaming as she hurtled around the final bend, leaving the rest of the field far behind her in the women’s 1500m. The Scot clocked 3:58.22 to take a comfortable victory in the end.
Shericka Jackson made it two wins for Jamaica on the day as she held off Stephenie McPherson and Britain’s Laviai Nielsen on the final straight to win the women’s 400m in 50.69.
In the men’s Triple Jump, Pedro Pablo Pichardo held off Christian Taylor to take victory ahead of his great rival. Taylor, who trailed Pichardo managed to extended his lead to 17.19 with his final jump, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Portuguese, who finished victorious with 17.53m.
The women’s Pole Vault produced an enthralling battle between Katherina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova. After trying her luck at 4.82m, Stefanidi couldn’t clear which meant that Sidorova took victory before she made her final attempt at the height.