24th August 2017
Farah bows out with dramatic victory as Ujah earns the 100m Diamond crown
Sir Mo Farah brought the curtain down on his stunning track career in dramatic style with a narrow victory in the 5000m, as Chijindu Ujah (Stuart McMillan) earned a breakthrough victory in the men’s 100m to secure his first ever Diamond League title.
A spectacular track career was rounded off with one of the most breath-taking finishes to a race as Farah narrowly held on to victory in the 5000m after an almighty scramble to the finish by the Briton and his competitors.
Farah maintained the inside line in the closing stages as he had led for much of the last lap, and as a last ditch effort by world champion Muktar Edris saw him fall just metres before the line, the Briton knew he had won and earned the fairy-tale ending to his track career. Kejelcha and Chelimo were both finishing strongly and got tangled up in the dive for the line, Chelimo climbing over Edris to secure second place.
Farah showed the class which saw him win three world and two Olympic 5000m gold medals during his stellar career, controlling the pace for much of the contest as the pacemakers dropped out at 3000m. As the laps counted down, it looked more and more likely that the Briton would unleash his devastating last lap sprint, and that is exactly what happened.
With a time of 13:06.05, he won by just 0.04 seconds but the victory was a sweet one for Farah who now moves onto the roads.
He commented afterwards: “I wanted to win and it is amazing that I have won. But it was hard work. I will miss the track, the people, my fans. I have enjoyed running in this stadium for a lot of years. But now, first of all I will enjoy being with my family.”
CJ Ujah earned the biggest individual win of his career, taking home the 100m Diamond League title after an impressive piece of sprinting. After victories in Rome, Rabat, Birmingham and the Anniversary Games, the Briton is no stranger to success on the circuit this summer, but his victory in Zurich is a stand out achievement for Ujah who was part of the gold medal winning 4x100m relay team earlier this month at the World Championships.
Ujah started well but it was his second 50m which saw him drive through in lane five, crossing the line in 9.97 – the same time as Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite – but he was awarded the victory by a few thousandths to capture the biggest honour of his individual career.
The Enfield & Haringey athlete said after the race: “I just wanted to take the confidence from Birmingham to Zurich. My coach told me ´just keep it smooth and simple´. I did a lot of speed works. I wanted to do my A-Game and I did it. I am the Diamond League champion – it feels amazing.
“It has been an amazing season and to finish like this is great. This is like a personal revenge for the world championships for me, I was pretty upset not to be in the final, so today, I redeemed myself. It is great to beat the world champion.”
Running in lane one, Adam Gemili (Rana Reider) recorded a time of 10.13 for eighth place.
It looked for all the world that the night had been rounded off with a victory for our world silver medallists, the women’s 4x100m quartet, but a ferocious kick by Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson narrowly edged Daryll Neita (Jonas Dodoo) and GB into second. Nevertheless, it was an exceptional race by the British quartet of Asha Philip (Steve Fudge), Desiree Henry (Rana Reider), Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) and Neita who ran quicker than they did in the world final in London, showing how impressive and consistent their form has been.
Clean changeovers saw Great Britain in the lead as Henry sprinted down the back straight, and as Asher-Smith pulled away, she gave Neita a reasonable lead. Neita appeared to have held on before the Jamaican unleashed her last ditch lean for the line. The Brits clocked 41.86 with Jamaica just 0.01 seconds ahead.
In one of the eagerly anticipated events of the evening, Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) won the men’s high jump but could not match the heights of Sunday when he cleared 2.40m in Birmingham, this time settling for a respectable 2.36m. Elsewhere, Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Caan) had a clean scorecard up to 2.24m but could not make the 2.28m clearance so settled for fourth place. European junior bronze medallist Tom Gale (Denis Doyle) was eighth of this occasion with a best of 2.20m, which followed up his third place finish at the Muller Grand Prix Birmingham.
In a stacked 1500m field which included all three medallists from the IAAF World Championships involved, Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) ran a solid race and finished well over the last lap to take seventh place. Wightman posted a time of 3:35.25 in a race won by world silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN) who pipped teammate and world champion Elijah Manangoi on this occasion. After notable victories this season in Oslo and Emsley Carr mile on Sunday, it has certainly been a breakthrough season for the Edinburgh athlete.
In a fast 400m hurdles race at the head of the field, Jack Green ran strongly to claim sixth place in a time of 49.41; with British Virgin Islands athlete Kyron McMaster beating world champion Karsten Warholm (NOR) into second place, the latter doing so in a national record of 48.22.
Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle) was fifth in the non-Diamond League 400m hurdles race after going out hard over the opening 200m. She looked to have consolidated third spot, but the Swiss athletes closed quickly after the final barrier to overhaul her, as she crossed the line in 55.09.
In two earlier non-Diamond League 100m races, Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan) won the first in a season’s best of 11.30 (+1.0) whilst Philip (Steve Fudge) warmed up for the relay with a 11.37 (-0.7) clocking for fifth place in her race, won by Jamaican Christania Williams in 11.07.
In the innovative 3000m wheelchair pursuit race, it was a ‘men vs women’ contest, with the men racing 3000m to the women’s 2600m. Britain’s bronze medallist from the World Para Athletics Championships, Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks), admitted pulling too fast in the early stages so crossed the line in tenth in 6:46.73 but it was a lesson learned for the Harlow athlete over a longer distance than he is used to. The race won by home favourite, Marcel Hug.
On Wednesday evening, the women’s pole vault once again took place in Zurich’s central train station, bringing spectators even closer to one of the most exciting competitions this year. GB’s Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson) followed up her second place in Birmingham with a fourth place on this occasion, clearing a height of 4.62m. However, eventual winner Katerina Stefanidi (GRE) and second place Sandi Morris (USA) put on quite show, both equalling the Diamond League record by clearing 4.87m, and with it equalling the meeting record and world lead.
Full results can be found here:
Highlights can also be found on BBC One on Saturday 26 August at 13:15.