5th June 2022
WIGHTMAN EARNS A MEMORABLE DIAMOND LEAGUE WIN IN RABAT
Jake Wightman (coach: Geoff Wightman, club: Edinburgh) and Jake Heyward (Mark Rowland, Cardiff) sealed a superb British one-two in the men’s 1500m in Rabat, Morocco, at the fourth instalment of the 2022 Wanda Diamond League season.
Both 1500m athletes got themselves into contention over the opening laps and hit the bell as the leading duo with Mohamed Katir (ESP) splitting them as they rounded the top bend. However, Heyward stubbornly held the inside line, and Wightman made his move with 200m to go, opening up a race winning margin within a matter of seconds. He held on to add another Diamond League victory to his CV, and Heyward bagged second in times of 3:32.62 and 3:33.54 respectively.
Later in the programme, there was a lifetime best for Amy-Eloise Markovc (Chris Fox, Wakefield) in the women’s 3000m after a battling performance saw her finish a narrow second to Mercy Cherono (KEN).
The Briton, who won European indoor gold over the distance last year, showed her strengths at 3000m as she took it to the field on the final lap. She made a long run for home which very nearly paid off, but Cherono had just enough to edge ahead in the home straight, holding her off on the line. It was a PB of 8:40.32 for the Wakefield athlete, just 0.03s behind Cherono.
Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson, Blackburn) ended the pole vault competition in fourth place with a best of 4.55m. She required last attempt clearances over 4.45m and 4.55m, which put her in the mix, but three fouls at 4.65m drew a close to her series. USA’s Sandi Morris won overall after clearing 4.65m.
Elsewhere in the field, Morgan Lake (Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) finished fifth in the women’s high jump with a best of 1.90m. After first time clearances at 1.80m and 1.85m to begin her series, she fouled her first attempt at 1.90m, but sailed over on the second effort. But her competition came to an end with the bar at 1.93m. Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh won overall, and she was the only athlete in the field to clear 1.96m.
Lawrence Okoye (John Hillier, Shaftesbury Barnet) was seventh in the men’s discus with the furthest throw of his series. 63.42m, coming in round four. The event was won by Birmingham Diamond League winner, Kristjan Ceh (SLO) who threw 69.68m on his final attempt – he was already leading heading into the last round of throws.
After achieving a world standard in midweek, Melissa Courtney-Bryant (Rob Denmark, Poole) ran another solid 1500m race clocking 4:04.40 for 10th position overall.
In the non-Diamond League 800m, a scrappy contest unfolded with Alex Bell (Andrew Henderson, Pudsey & Bramley coming through for sixth position in a time of 2:01.50.