07 July, 2019

Lausanne: What You Missed

  • © Giancarlo Colombo

A flurry of meeting records from Lyles, Lisek and co., a catastrophic mistake from Gebrhiwet and a final list of finalists in several Diamond Disciplines: the eighth IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season had it all. Here is everything you missed in Lausanne last Friday.

The meeting records fell like flies on Friday as the world's finest athletes ushered in July with a scintillating evening of athletics at the Athletissima meeting in Lausanne. 

With eight of the 12 Road to the Final meetings now behind us, there is now a full list of qualifiers for the IAAF Diamond League Final in several disciplines. In others, the race is still wide open, with points still up for grabs in Monaco, London, Birmingham and Paris in the coming weeks. 

Before we head down to the Cote d'Azur, however, here is everything you missed in Lausanne last weekend. 

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Noah Lyles grabbed the headlines on Friday as he stormed to a sumptuous 19.50 in the men's 200m, taking nearly a tenth of a second off a meeting record previously held by a certain Usain Bolt. 

The up-and-coming American was not the only person to smash a meeting record in Lausanne. In the men's 1500m, Diamond Trophy holder Timothy Cheruiyot sauntered his way to a world-leading, MR-busting 3:28.77 to claim his third win of the season and lock down his place in this year's final. 

Perhaps the most remarkable of all the meeting records, however, came from Poland's Piotr Lisek in the men's pole vault. Up against Diamond Trophy favourites Sam Kendricks and Armand Duplantis, Lisek cleared the six-metre mark for the first time in his career, finishing on 6.01m to take all eight points and secure his place in the final. 

Elsewhere, the women's 100m remains impossible to call this year, after Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the the fourth different winner in four meetings on the Road to the Final so far. The win sees the Jamaican legend burst into the top eight, joining the likes of Aleia Hobbs, Blessing Okagbare, Dina Asher-Smith and Elaine Thompson in the chasing pack behind leader Marie-Josée Ta Lou. 

The women's shot put also remains difficult to call after 2015 Diamond Trophy winner Christina Schwanitz blasted away the rest of the field with 19.04m in Lausanne. The first of two throwing triumphs for German women - Christin Hussong also won the javelin - Schwanitz's victory sees her join the eight throwers who are now definitely qualified for the shot put final. Among them are Diamond Trophy holder Gong Lijiao and standings leader Chase Ealey, who only managed a sixth-place finish on Friday. 

The men's long jump can also now boast of a full list of finalists, after Juan Miguel Echevarria took a second victory in two meetings. The Cuban, who was narrowly beaten by South Africa's Luvo Manyonga in last year's final, jumped 8.32m to finish top of the standings and join the likes of Manyonga, Tajay Gayle and Ruswahl Samaai in the final. 

Lausanne also saw routine wins for multiple Diamond Trophy winners Caterine Ibargüen and Mariya Lasitskene in the women's triple jump and high jump respectively. Ibargüen jumped a season's best of 14.89m, while Lasitskene fell just short of her own meeting record with 2.02m. 

Perhaps the most dramatic moment of Friday night came in the men's 5000m. A Diamond Trophy winner in 2016, Hagos Gebrhiwet's wealth of experience did not prevent him from making a catastrophic mistake and gifting victory to compatriot Yomif Kejelcha. 

Ahead at the bell, Gebrhiwet somehow convinced himself that the race was run and peeled off to celebrate his apparent victory as Kejelcha and the rest of the field set off on the final lap. The Ethiopian realised his mistake too late, and could salvage no more than a tenth-place finish in a race which he may well otherwise have won.

There was some consolation for Gebrhiwet in that his place in the final was already beyond doubt, meaning he will have the chance to atone for his error by once again winning the Diamond Trophy. In Zurich, no doubt, he will be listening extra hard for that bell.