News - 13.07.2014

Diamond Race: Post Glasgow Update

The competitiveness of the IAAF Diamond League was underlined once again in Glasgow, as only one of the 11 Diamond Race leaders on show managed to pick up maximum points in the Scottish city.

Instead, it was points for second or third placed finishes that tended to matter most to existing leaders, as 8 different names topped the standings after the meeting compared to those that were listed before.

It was Blanka Vlasic, the Croatian superstar who won the Diamond Race in 2010 and 2011, who managed to buck the trend and pick up the four points for victory to move clear at the top of the high jump table ahead of Ana Simic and Mariya Kuchina, who had previously co-led the Diamond Race.

Meanwhile, Mike Rodgers (100m), David Rudisha (800m), Javier Culson (400m hurdles), Reese Hoffa (shot put), Queen Harrison (100m hurdles), Hiwot Ayalew (3000m steeplechase), Fabiana Murer (pole vault) and Tianna Bartoletta (long jump) were the athletes to take Diamond Race leads on a weekend of changes.

Rudisha, the Olympic champion and world record holder, Harrison, Hoffa, Murer, Culson and Bartoletta all went top in style following dominant victories in their events, while Ayalew moved level with the Sofia Assefa in the chase in the absence of her Ethiopian teammate.

Rodgers, on the other hand, picked up two points for second place in the 100m behind Nickel Ashmeade, which was enough to squeeze past the absent Justin Gatlin. The Jamaican’s four points move him into contention with meetings in Stockholm and Brussels still to come.

In the 5000m, triple jump, 200m, 400m and 1500m, the Diamond Race leaders maintained or extended their positions thanks to podium finishes.

Yenew Alamirew has scored points in every one of the five occasions on which the 5000m has appeared on the programme in 2014 and again picked up two more in Glasgow for a second placed finish, this time behind his compatriot Hagos Gebrhiwet. That meant that the overall gap between himself and Caleb Ndiku in second was actually extended.

The male triple jumpers have already competed six times in the IAAF Diamond League this year and, with just one meeting to go in Zurich, Will Claye clung onto his place at the top of the leaderboard by two points following second place behind Olympic champion Christian Taylor. The Diamond Trophy will be awarded to one of those two men.

Both Blessing Okagbare and Novlene Williams-Mills could only manage third placed finishes in the 200m and 400m in Scotland, but their single point each and victories earlier in the season allowed them to remain ahead in their respective Diamind Races, despite their leads being cut by Allyson Felix and Francena McCorory and Sanya Richards-Ross.

It was a similar story in the 1500m, as Abeba Aregawi returned to form but could still only manage to pick up two points behind the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, who closed to within three points of the 2013 champion.

It may have been one of the biggest stories of the evening on Friday, but Sandra Perkovic’s loss to the USA’s Gia Lewis-Smallwood in the discus, while marking the end of a long winning streak, made only negligible impact on the Diamond Race. The Croatian can still secure the trophy with just one more second place finish and remains in total control.

In the men’s javelin, Thomas Rohler, with his maximum points, added to the solitary point he secured in Paris, but the German is still three points down on Ihab Abdelrahman El-Sayed, who leads following excellent victories in Shanghai and in the French capital. Vitezslav Vesely’s two points for second moved him level on points at the top, although behind courtesy of the Egyptian’s better win count.

Of the athletes in Diamond Race action in Glasgow, only the female pole vaulters move on to Monaco, when the IAAF Diamond League returns on Friday.

Dean Hardman for the IAAF Diamond League