16th June 2019


There was British interest at the Rabat Diamond League on Sunday evening with Eilish McColgan (coach: Liz Nuttall; club: Dundee Hawkhill) and Sarah McDonald (David Harmer; Birchfield) running significant personal bests, and Andrew Pozzi (Santiago Antunez; Stratford-upon-Avon) securing second in the 110m hurdles.

In a fast and furious women’s 1500m contest, McColgan battled hard to a time of 4:00.97 to move to second on the Scottish all-time list behind Laura Muir. Her previous best came in 2017 when she ran 4:01.60, so her appearance in Rabat was a highly successful one. She placed ninth as part of a fast-finishing pack and also moved to ninth on the UK all-time list over the distance, moving above her mum, Liz, in the rankings.

Also part of that dash for the line was Sarah McDonald who scythed over a second and a half off her previous best. Her revised PB of 4:01.50 was an improvement from 4:03.17 which she set at last year’s Muller Birmingham Grand Prix. She crossed the line in tenth position in her first track race of the outdoor season and moved to 12th on the UK all-time list.

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba and the Netherland’s Sifan Hassan were involved in a thrilling battle for victory and despite a concerted push around the bend from the Dutch athlete, the 2015 world champion Dibaba held her off and edged it in world leading time of 3:55.47 to Hassan’s 3:55.93.

In the men’s 110m hurdles, there was another superb second place for Andrew Pozzi behind Sergey Shubenkov (ANA) but this was a very different race to the one in Rome a fortnight ago.

Olympic and world champion Omar McLeod (JAM) had the best start of the field, and looked to have it won until the final hurdle when his stride appeared to be far overreaching, and ultimately, he fell, tripping Shubenkov alongside him, but the 2015 world champion was close enough to the line to steal the victory. Pozzi ran solidly, just one hundredth off his SB of 13.29, to claim second place and continue his rich vein of form.

There was a very strong display from Lynsey Sharp (David Harmer; Edinburgh) in the women’s 800m who bounced back from disappointment after a fall in Oslo to post a season’s best of 2:00.61 for fourth in Rabat.

Kenya’s Nelly Jepkosgei and Ethiopia’s Habitum Alemu moved away to take first and second, but Sharp looked strong coming off the final bend, only a fast finishing Olha Lyakhova moving passed her in the closing stages.

In the women’s pole vault, Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson; Blackburn) ended the competition in ninth, clearing a season’s best of 4.57m. The event was won by America’s Sandi Morris who cleared 4.82m on her first attempt, while her nearest challenger Anzhelika Sidorova (ANA) fouled the height three times.

Sale Harriers Manchester’s Chris Baker (Graham Ravenscroft) was seventh in the men’s high jump with a height of 2.19m which he cleared first time following two fouls at 2.15m.

In the men’s 800m, Guy Learmonth (Henry Gray; Lasswade) was ninth, crossing the line in 1:47.51.

Highlights will be on BBC One at 00:40 on Sunday and available on the BBC iPlayer soon after.