23rd August 2020


British athletes delivered world-class performances at the Stockholm Diamond League as training partners Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie, Adam Gemili and Holly Bradshaw, ran out convincing winners.

Muir was a standout performer in the women’s 1500m as she led home a British 1-2-3 – in a world leading time – which included Laura Weightman and Melissa Courtney-Bryant, the latter in a superb personal best.

Soon after, Reekie was in fine form as she was a clear winner of the women’s 800m, and Gemili powered away to seal victory in the men’s 200m. Sandwiched between these two highlights of the afternoon’s athletics was Bradshaw taking number one spot in Diamond League for the first time in her career. Also, earlier in the session, Laviai Nielsen secured second in the women’s 400m as she improved her season best in the process.

Sitting directly behind the pacemaker and leading from the front throughout the contest, Laura Muir (Andy Young; Dundee Hawkhill) showed her venomous pace at the bell, extending her lead with every stride, ultimately claiming victory in a world leading time of 3:57.86. It was a performance of sheer quality and one of the fastest times of her career to date.

Fresh from moving to second on the UK all-time rankings over 5000m in Monaco, Laura Weightman (Steve Cram; Morpeth) delivered another exceptional display of middle distance running as she stepped down to the familiar 1500m distance clocking 4:01.62, a season best.

Melissa Courtney-Bryant (Rob Denmark; Poole) improved her personal best from 4:03.44 to 4:01.81 with the best run of her career over the distance. After winning in Turku a couple of weeks ago and going close to her PB there, this was another epic display from the European indoor and Commonwealth medallist.

Also running a season best was Eilish McColgan (Liz Nuttall; Dundee Hawkhill) in eighth place, running a time of 4:03.74.

Continuing her excellent return to action in 2020, Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson; Blackburn) sailed to victory in the women’s pole vault. Her series was clean up to 4.62m but it took her third attempt clearance at 4.69m to confirm the win overall for the first time in the Diamond League series.

She was pushed by the Swede, Angelica Bengtsson (SWE) who despite a smattering of fouls on her card, cleared every height up to 4.62m but she could not progress over the 4.69m bar which confirmed the Briton’s spot at the top of the leader board.

Adam Gemili (Rana Reider; Blackheath & Bromley) is improving with every race upon the return of the sport and today was no different as he recorded a season best of 20.61 (+2.0) on his way to victory in the men’s 200m. He looked in supreme form around the bend and he continued to open that gap in the home straight, finishing well ahead of Felix Svensson (SWE) who was second in 20.75.

His compatriot Richard Kilty (Benke Blomkvist; Gateshead), running his first 200m since 2019, was sixth in 20.87.

Following this race was Jemma Reekie (Andy Young; Kilbarchin) in the women’s 800m and she continued where she left off in Bydgoszcz on Wednesday as she dismantled a strong field to seal the win.

She raced tight to the pacemaker over 650 metres, but as soon as Noelie Yarigo (BEN) moved aside, the Briton made light work of the challenge from the 2019 world silver medallist Raevyn Rogers (USA), taking a commanding victory in a time of 1:59.69.

Alex Bell (Andrew Henderson; Pudsey & Bramley) who was well-placed throughout the race finished in fifth position, her time recorded at 2:02.52.

Earlier in the programme, Laviai Nielsen (Christine Bowmaker; Enfield & Haringey) produced a valiant performance from lane eight as she ran a season best of 52.16 for second place behind the American, Wadeline Jonathas, in the women’s 400m.

Nielsen went out hard over the opening 200m as she put her mark on the contest and held her composure well in the home straight, pushing Jonathas all the way, just 0.22 seconds behind.

Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) came home in fourth position, improving her outdoor personal best to 52.42.

In the men’s equivalent, Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams; Newham & Essex Beagles) ran a solid race for fourth in 46.63. The Briton won in Poland earlier in the week and ran a composed race to finish behind the Norwegian, Karsten Warholm, who return to the track after running the second quickest 400m hurdles time ever barely two hours earlier.

In a new format to the women’s long jump competition which saw the top three after five rounds progress to a one jump takes all in round six, the British trio missed out.

However, Abigail Irozuru (self-coached; Sale Harriers Manchester) continued her progress as she jumped 6.57 metres (1.7) which was her best so far this season. This secured fifth place for the British Champion, while Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Bertrand Valcin; Liverpool) was one spot further back as she leapt 6.52m.

In ninth, Shara Proctor’s (Rana Reider; Birchfield) furthest effort came in round two which was also a season best of 6.14m (2.1).

For Johnson-Thompson, she had earlier raced over the 100m hurdles, an event she also finished in sixth, in a time of 13.94 (1.4).

Following an exceptional display of running in Trafford earlier this month which saw him go top of the UK 800m rankings in 2020 with a time of 1:44.75, Max Burgin (Ian Burgin; Halifax) was back in action in only his second Diamond League appearance. The 18-year-old took some notable scalps on his way to sixth place in a time of 1:46.02 including world silver medallist, Amel Tuka (BIH).

Burgin ran a sensible race, staying at the back of the main pack but keeping pace with some of the leading international names. As world lead Donovan Brazier (USA) accelerated in the closing 100m to take the win in 1:43.76, the West Yorkshire man battled to a top six position just behind world finalist, Wesley Vasquez (PUR).

In the final race of the day, there was a season best for world finalist Neil Gourley (Ben Thomas; Giffnock North) as he stopped the clock at 3:38.30 for eighth in the men’s 1500m. In 11th, Charlie Da’Vall Grice (Jon Bigg; Brighton Phoenix) crossed the line in 3:41.75.