30th July 2015

Stockholm Diamond League

30 July 2015

Olympic, European and Commonwealth long jump champion Greg Rutherford bounced back to winning form with his second best performance of the season, and the fourth best of his career, in the 12th Diamond League meeting of the season in Stockholm’s 1912 Olympic Stadium.

Jumping in wet conditions, the 28-year-old Marshall Milton Keynes athlete took the lead in the opening round, leaping 7.94m (+0.2) and then uncorked a  leap of 8.34m (+0.9) with his second attempt. It was just 1cm behind his season’s best, the 8.35m that earned him victory in the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix Diamond League meeting in June, and the fourth best performance of his career. 

Rutherford backed it up with 8.32m (+0.1) in the third round and with a third Diamond League victory of the season effectively secured, he chose to sit out the final two rounds. The final 1-2-3 was Rutherford first with 8.34m, Dendy second with 8.09m and South Africa’s Godfrey Mokoena third with 7.87m

“The Diamond League competitions have been very important for me this year and I’m pleased with my third win,” said Rutherford, who next month bids to complete a clean sweep of major outdoor titles at the World Championships in Beijing. “It’s fantastic to jump back to back 8.30s in far from ideal conditions.

“I am focused on the World Championships and hope to become the fifth British athlete to hold world, Commonwealth and European titles [after Daley Thompson, Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Jonathan Edwards]. It’s going to be tough, with Dendy and Henderson [Jeff Henderson, the US jumper who tops the 2015 world list with 8.54m] jumping really well at the moment.

“I have no further competitions before the World Championships and will be training in my back garden. My father has constructed a pit and the final layer will be going on tomorrow. Let’s hope the British summer time does not spoil the practice.

Rutherford might not have been the only British winner of the night had Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider) managed to hold on after a bold bid for victory in the women’s 800m. The Commonwealth and European two-lap silver medallist was pipped at the death by the fast finishing Renelle Lamote, the Frenchwoman snatching victory in 1:59.91, but second place in 2:00.29 was another encouraging performance by Sharp. 

She also claimed two notable US scalps, 2013 World Championship bronze medallist Brenda Martinez finishing third in 2:00.54 and 2014 world indoor champion Chanelle Price fifth in 2:01.26. “Proud of myself for running aggressively but annoyed I didn’t hold on,” Sharp tweeted.

European 400m champion Martyn Rooney (Rana Reider) clocked a season’s best of 45.41 for third place over one lap, finishing behind Trinidad’s Machel Cedenio (44.97) and Luguellin Santos of the Dominican Republic (45.21). British champion Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams) was fourth in 45.46. “I’m happy with the time in these conditions,” said Rooney. 

Michael Rimmer (Jon Bigg) took third place in the men’s 800m, clocking 1:45.97 behind Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla of Qatar (1:45.33) and Andreas Bube of Denmark (1:45.78). “This year’s gone miles better than I expected,” said Rimmer. “It’s been a mini-miracle really. That was a scrappy race but what I wanted – a top three position.”

Running in only her second 200m race of 2015, Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker) also secured a top three placing. The 2014 European and Commonwealth medallist finished third in 23.09 (+1.6), behind American sprinter Tiffany Townsend, a clear winner in 22.67 and Poland’s Anna Kielbasinska, runner-up in 23.07. Recently crowned British 400m champion Anyika Onuora (Rana Reider) clocked a season’s best of 23.19 in fourth place.

European 400m hurdles champion Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) finished sixth in 55.79 as reigning world champion Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic sped to victory in 54.37. Triple jumper Sinead Gutzmore (Aston Moore) also had to settle for sixth in her event. The 2015 UK champion finished with a best of 13.30m (+0.4). Colombia’s world champion Caterine Ibarguen emerged victorious with 14.69m (+0.4).

Former European Junior 400m champion Chris Clarke (Steve Fudge) clocked  20.71 (+0.3) for sixth place over 200m, Panama’s Alonso Edwards winning in 20.04. Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) continued his comeback after injury with an eighth-placed finish. The former European champion achieved a third time clearance at 2.25, his second best performance of the summer, after his 2.28m clearance in winning the British title in Birmingham on 5 July. American Jacorian Duffield clinched victory with 2.32m.