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Williams-Mills grabs big win at IAAF Diamond league in Stockholm

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Photo: Williams-Mills claimed her first 400m Diamond League championship today

On a night when many of the athletes found the going tough due to the weather conditions and even the starters gun, most of Jamaica’s athletes on show, gave good account of themselves. This at the eleventh stop on the Diamond League circuit, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Jamaica’s top performerance came from quartermile warrior and Commonwealth Games Silver medalist, Novlene Williams-Mills.

Williams-Mills (50.09) grabbed the diamond trophy by staving off a late challenge from London 2012 Olympic Games champion, Sanya Richards-Ross (50.27), over the final 50 metres. Francena McCorory, who clocked 50.65 finished in third.

The Jamaican national champion now sits way out front with an unassailable lead on 18 points, 10 clear of her nearest rival. Fellow Jamaican Commonwealth games Champion Stephanie McPherson and bronze medalist Christine Day finished 4th and 5th in times of 51.01s and 52.03 respectively.

Nesta Carter of Jamaica won the men’s 100m in a season’s best of 9.96, assisted by a maximum legal wind of 2.00 metres-per-second, with Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago second in 10.09 and third place going to Great Britain’s Chijindu Ujah in 10.10. Commonwealth bronze Medalist and Diamond league trophy challenger, Nickel Ashmeade was beaten into 4th place with a time of 10.10 as well.

Javier Culson who led for most of the way in the men’s 400m hurdles was overtaken by the USA’s Michael Tinsley, off the last hurdle as the American won in 49.60, with the Puerto Rican clocking 49.84 for second. Trinidad and Tobago’s 2013 world champion Jehue Gordon, who clocked 50.13 came in third place. Jamaican representative and National Champion Roxroy Cato finished sixth in a time of 51.09.

The women’s 200m featured the new American sensation Torie Bowie matching up with their longtime queen Alyson Felix. Battling neck and neck entering the homestretch, Felix running out of lane six, got the better of Bowie who ran in lane five. The 2012 Olympic champion, took maximum points in 22.85, with Bowie in second place with 22.91. Jamaica’s relay Gold medalist Schillonie Calvert ended sixth but was later disqualified.

Odane “Strongman” Richards finished 5th in the shot put with a mark of 20.46, finishing ahead of top Americans Ryan Whitting and Christian Cantwell in a well contested event. Reese Hoffa won with a throw of 21.06m.

Other notable winners on the night :

Diamond race leader in the sprint hurdles Queen Harrison led home an American 1-2-3 in 12.66. Nia Ali was second in 12.96 as Olympic champion, Dawn Harper-Nelson, came home third in 12.99.

Russia’s 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships winner Mariya Kuchina took the honours in the the women’s high jump with 1.94m on count back from Lithuania’s Airine Palsyte, with Ana Simic of Croatia third on 1.90m, one place ahead of Spain’s European champion Ruth Beitia.

Godfrey Khotso Mokoena, of South Africa, took the men’s long jump with a second round effort of 8.09m, with Ignisious Gaisah of The Netherlands second on 8.04m and home favourite Michel Torneus third with 8.03m.

USA’s 2011 world champion Jennifer Simpson produced one of the performances of the night to win a brutally hard, talent-stacked women’s 1500m in cold and damp conditions beating Ethiopia’s world indoor record holder Genzebe Dibaba into second place, with world leader Sofia Hassan finishing third. Hometown favourite Aregawi finished down the field in 14th position.

Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris won the men’s 5000m in a world season’s best of 12:54.83, holding off the challenge of two Kenyans, Thomas Longosiwa and Caleb Ndiku. The women 3000m steeplechase saw two of the world’s best Tunisia’s Habiba Ghribi, and Ethiopian leader Hiwot Ayalew battle before Ayalew pulled away off the final barrier to win in 9:17.04. Habiba finished in a season’s best of 9:18.39.

Some top names that fell by the way and were left disappointed:

French world record holder and European champion in men’s pole Vaulting Renaud Lavillenie had his winning run of 22 pole vault competitions come to an abrupt and unexpected end after failing to clear a single height having entered the competiton at 5.60m way below his world record of 6.16m. Taking full advantage of this momentous lapse was Konstantinos Filippidis, Greece’s 2014 IAAF World Indoor champion, who won with 5.60m on count back from second-placed Piotr Lisek of Poland and Xue Changrui of China.

2012 Olympic Games gold medallist, Australia’s recently crowned Commonwealth champion Sally Pearson, was disqualified for false-starting in the 100m hurdles. France’s European silver medallist Cindy Billaud came to grief at the seventh hurdle and crashed painfully into the eighth barrier before limping ruefully away.
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