17th September 2020


There were two British victories at the Rome Diamond League from Andrew Pozzi and Jemma Reekie who produced fine displays to win the men’s 110m hurdles and women’s 800m respectively.

Pozzi (coach: Santiago Antunez; club: Stratford-upon-Avon) recorded the second quickest time of his career in the 110m hurdles as he crossed the line just 0.01s outside his personal best which he equalled in Monaco earlier this year.

The 2018 world indoor 60m hurdles gold medallist has been in the form of his life over the longer sprint hurdles this season, and he claimed another victory to add to his collection. He started well and pulled away from the field over the final three barriers and despite some late pressure from Aaron Mallet (USA), he held on for the top spot.

Jemma Reekie (Andy Young; Kilbarchan) judged her race to perfection as a super final 200m saw her claim number one position in the women’s 800m. A scrappy race which saw a conservative first 400m from the main pack came to life in the final 300m as Laura Muir (Andy Young; Dundee Hawkhill) manoeuvred to the front to attack. However, with 200m to go her training partner moved passed with ease to post her seventh sub two-minute clocking of the season.

Reekie held off Hedde Hynne, who set a world lead in the event a couple of days earlier, to win in 1:59.76. Muir came home in third place clocking 2:00.49 while Alex Bell (Andrew Henderson; Pudsey & Bramley) was sixth in 2:01.37.

Reekie said: “It was good – the race plan went out of the window quite early, but I was able to adapt and run to the best of my ability. I’m happy to have finished my season on a win.”

Following a win in Samorin last week, Cindy Ofili (Jeff Porter; Woodford Essex Green Ladies) was fourth in Rome after a great start to the race. As Nadine Visser moved away from the field by the midway point to win in 12.72 (+0.1), the Briton followed in 13.02.

British champion Imani Lansiquot (Steve Fudge) was in action in the women’s 100m as continued her solid run of form to finish fifth in 11.23 (+0.2). Before tonight the Sutton & District athlete was unbeaten in 2020, winning all five of her races. However, on this occasion, the race was won in dominant fashion by Olympic champion Elaine Thompson (JAM) who ran a world lead of 10.85.

British pole vault champion and national record holder, Harry Coppell (Scott Simpson; Wigan & District), competed in his very first Diamond League event in Rome. He had three first time clearances up to 5.60m, but after three fouls at 5.70m he bowed out of the competition, finishing in fifth place overall.

Coppell will look back fondly on a short season which saw him set a British record in Manchester, his 5.85 metre clearance going into the history books.

Following a 300m hurdles British record in Ostrava last week, Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong; Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) was back in action over the full 400m hurdles in the Italian capital. 55.58 was her time as she crossed the line in sixth position. The race was won by Femke Bol of the Netherlands in 53.90.

Running under 46 seconds for the 101st time in his career, Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams) captured a season best as he finished fifth in the men’s 400m. From lane nine, the Newham and Essex Beagles athlete posted a time of 45.65.

In her final race of the season, Laviai Nielsen (Christine Bowmaker; Enfield & Haringey) was seventh in the women’s 400m, clocking 52.45 in a race won by the Netherlands’ Lieke Klaver.