5th July 2018
MUIR STRENGTHENS HER LEAD ATOP THE DIAMOND LEAGUE STANDINGS WITH SEASON'S BEST IN LAUSANNE
Laura Muir (club: Dundee Hawkhill, coach: Andy Young) was the standout British performer as she claimed second place in a season’s best in a highly competitive women’s 1500m in Lausanne.
Muir ran a smart race and kicked with 250 metres to go, leaving a trail of four runners in her wake, only to be caught by Shelby Houlihan (USA) in the closing stages, who set a new meeting record and personal best of 3:57.34.
Muir held off the challenge of the rapidly advancing Sifan Hassan (NED) to clock 3:58.18 and earn herself seven Diamond League points in the process to maintain her lead at the top of the women’s 1500m standings.
After the race, Muir said: “I knew it was going to be a fast race that the girls had asked for. I was happy to sit in on the first half, work hard and use my strength in the second half. I felt a lot better than I did in the race a couple of weeks ago so it’s a step in the right direction.
“I could see Tsegay was tiring so I thought I had to go at that stage and not leave it to a sprint finish. I just wanted to run as far as I could. I nearly got the win so I’m really pleased with that.”
Fellow Brits Laura Weightman (Steve Cram, Morpeth) and Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill, Liz Nuttall) recorded season’s bests of 4:01.76 and 4:01.98 respectively to take the final two spots in the points.
Commonwealth Games medallist Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark, Poole AC) could not make her way into the points, finishing tenth in 4:06.27.
In the field, Shara Proctor (Rana Reider, Birchfield Harriers) was the best of the Brits in the women’s long jump, claiming four Diamond League points with a best of 6.62m (wind: 2.0m/s). Malaika Mihambo (GER) saved her best jump until last as she matched Ivana Spanovic (SRB) with a mark of 6.90m (1.3m/s), taking victory via countback.
Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson, Thames Valley Harriers) could not replicate her world leading mark of 7.05m set at the Muller British Athletics Championships, finishing seventh with a best effort of 6.48m (-0.1m/s) set in the third round.
Proctor assessed: “It was OK. I was consistent but not as good as some days. I have a number of things to work on but I have two weeks before London. I’m excited to be going back for more training and some technical work. I made some mistakes tonight and I will fix them for next time.”
Following her jumps, world lead Ugen added: “I was a little bit flat after all the stress I put my body through last weekend, getting the PB. It was hard getting my body going again and jumping that far. I probably need to get back into training and to have a cool down before I get back up again. It was a good competition and I had fun out there, hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be back on top form.”
Lynsey Sharp (Terrence Mahon, Edinburgh AC) clocked a new season’s best of 2:01.22, as she claimed one point in a fast women’s 800m, won by Francine Niyonsaba (BDI) in 1:57.80.
Jack Green (June Pews, Kent) made the most of being promoted from the B-race into the Diamond League race by clocking 49.52. Abderrahman Samba (QAT) won the race in 47.42 – his seventh victory on the circuit this season.
Green added: “They’re fast boys! This event has really stepped up so it’s about time I did as well. I have lots of work to do. It’s hard to race here just after the trials but if you’re seeking excellence, this is the kind of thing you need to be able to do and get better at. This is a very long year, starting with the Commonwealths. I’m still holding on, just.
“Samba is impressive, being able to put together races back to back, 46 seconds one week, then 47. He is consistently there all the time, he’s obviously put the work in. But it is not just that because he’s executing races, whatever the conditions – which in 400m hurdles is really hard to do. I’m looking forward to being in more races with him and hopefully watching him against Benjamin next year.”
Martyn Rooney (Graham Hedman, Croydon) took victory in the men’s 400m B-race in 46.16, a shade outside his season’s best, with Owen Smith (Matt Elias, Cardiff) third in 46.90.
Marcel Hug (SUI) claimed a closely fought men’s wheelchair 1500m in a tight finish in 3:19.87 with Great Britain’s Richard Chiassaro (Jennifer Banks, Harlow AC) fourth in 3:20.75.
Niall Flannery (Matt Elias, Gateshead Harriers) came home fourth in the men’s 400m hurdles in 50.57, behind Luke Campbell (GER) who clocked 49.54 to take victory, with Jodie Williams (Stuart McMillan, Herts Phoenix) producing a good run to finish fourth in women’s 200m in 22.85, a race won by Gabrielle Thomas (USA) in 22.47.