Going into the women’s 200m in Birmingham, Shaunae Miller-Uibo knew she had to win to stand a chance of defending her Diamond trophy she won last year. And with three spots up for grabs, the Rio 2016 Olympic Champion ran a dominant race to claim victory at the Alexander Stadium and secure a spot in the finals in Zurich.
Just as she did last year, Miller-Uibo found the extra gear in the race to win ahead of Dina Asher-Smith. The time – 22.24 – is 0.09 slower than her Meeting Record (MR) clocking in 2018, but the nature of her win was just as impressive.
Asher-Smith, running inside the taller Miller-Uibo, was up on the Bahamian’s shoulder in the opening strides, but couldn’t keep pace once they were at full speed. Miller-Uibo, then pulled away with 70m to run to keep alive an unbeaten record that now stretches back more than two years.
Briton Asher-Smith looked like she might be caught by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who came off the bend with great pace, but held form to beat the Jamaican to second place. Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare was 5th in 22.83s.
In the women’s 100m Hurdles, 2015 world champion Danielle Williams continued from where she left off in London as she raced to a dominant victory in Birmingham, clocking a new MR of 12.46.
The Jamaican was quickest into her running, with world record holder Keni Harrison – running in lane one – also sharp out but behind at the second barrier. Harrison worked hard but couldn’t reel in Williams as she settled for second. Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan was 3rd in 12.71s.
Elsewhere, Yohan Blake and Adam Gemili crossed the line together in the men’s 100m final, both being given a time of 10.07 with a +2.0m/s wind. After a short deliberation, the judges gave the win to Blake, who gets his first DL win of the season.
The Jamaican, who along with Mike Rodgers looked sharp out of the blocks, looked to have the race won with 70m gone, but Gemili, as he did in the heats, demonstrated swift top-end speed to place 2nd. Rodgers got the nod for 3rd, clocking in 10.09s
There was little trouble for Beatrice Chepkoech in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. After bustling in front of the chasing pack with about a lap and half to go, the record holder built herself a comfortable lead and coasted through the remaining laps to win in an MR of 9:05.55.
Celliphine Chespol was the best of the rest, crossing in 9:06.76 for a confidence-boosting second place.
Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield was in a class of his own in the men’s 400m, coasting to victory in 45.04. Obi Igbokwe worked his arms well to pull through late for 2nd (45.53), while Matt Hudson-Smith was 0.02s behind Igbokwe.
The women’s Discus was keenly contested between the trio of Yaime Perez, Denia Caballero and Sandra Perkovic. In the end, it was won by DL champion and standings leader Yaime Perez (64.87m) who got their best business done in the early rounds that scooped the win while her compatriot Denia Caballero (64.59m) was 2nd. Sandra Perkovic recovered for third with 63.80m.
In the women’s Pole vault, Katerina Stefanidi was a clear winner with her third time attempt at 4.75m, a height no other athlete could get over. Canada’s Alysha Newman was 2nd with her best clearance being 4.65m.
Heptathlete Nafissatou Thiam tasted victory in the DL for the first-time courtesy of her National Record (NR) (6.86m) jump.