15th May 2015

Brits Star At The Opening Iaaf Diamond League In Doha

15 May 2015

The first event of the 14 stage IAAF Diamond League series kicked off in Doha on Friday night with a thrilling evening of action which saw numerous world leading times and marks. The British athletes starred on the world stage with Diamond Race points collected and a national record equalled.

A dramatic long jump competition saw Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) equal her own national record of 6.95m. The record matching leap came in the final round, and it moved the 2012 World Indoor bronze medallist into second position in the standings to capture two Diamond Race points and finish behind reigning long jump Diamond Race champion Tianna Bartoletta, who jumped 6.99m.

Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson) endured a roller coaster of a competition to eventually finish in fourth position with a new personal best of 6.92m, an improvement of 25cm for the Briton. The mark takes her to third on the UK all-time women’s long jump standings.

It looked like it would be even better for Ugen when it was first announced that she had jumped 7.10m to set an outright British record. However, the mark was re-measured to the 6.92m mark. Nevertheless, it was a breakthrough performance for the Blackheath & Bromley athlete, and it was the first time two British women have jumped over 6.90m in the same competition.

Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) was second in the men’s 3000m despite a lung-bursting effort to overhaul Hagos Gebrhiwet in the closing stages.  His time of 7:38.22 was narrowly behind the Ethiopian’s 7:38.08 as the World 5000m silver medallist timed his race to perfection and led a sprint finish over the last 200m. The field fell behind the pacemakers early on which led to a last lap burn up. 17 year-old Kejelcha sprinted away with 400m to go which split the field over the last 400m in a thrilling race won by his fellow countryman.

Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed) was also in the mix for Diamond League points after a series of clean jumps saw her lead the competition at 1.91m. The AFD athlete stayed at this height after three failures at 1.94m but the height was good enough for third place and a well-earned Diamond Race point at the Doha meeting. The event was won by Airine Palsyte of Lithuania in 1.94m.

Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider) was third in a top-quality 100m hurdles field in a time of 12.65. The race saw the American Jasmin Stowers break the Diamond League record and go seventh on the all-time list with a 12.35 clocking. Olympic Champion Sally Pearson was fourth behind the European Champion Porter who claimed one Diamond Race point.

Jack Green (Loren Seagrave) continued his impressive return to athletics with a strong finish to his 400m hurdles race to secure fourth spot in a high quality field. The Florida-based athlete was part of the GB & NI 4x400m at the IAAF World Relays in Bahamas recently and starred again once again in Qatar. He went into the final straight in eighth position but finished well to come home in a time of 49.31, which is an IAAF World Championships qualifying standard. The race was won by former 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Bershawn Jackson in a world leading time of 48.09.

James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge) was eighth in the 100m running 10.14 in a race won in a world leading time of 9.74 by Justin Gatlin. Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan) recorded a season best of 23.05 in the 200m for third position, and Max Eaves (self-coached) unfortunately did not make a height in the pole vault competition.

One of the other highlights of the evening came in the men’s triple jump where the Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo leapt to 18.06 to move up to third in the all-time standings. He now sits behind Britain’s world record holder Jonathan Edwards and Kenny Harrison of the USA in the standings. America’s Christian Taylor later jumped 18.04m to go joint third on the list in a highly exciting triple jump event.

You can watch highlights of the Doha IAAF Diamond League on Saturday 16 May on BBC One at 13:00. Results can be found here.