Athletics

Miller-Uibo sparkles in Birmingham Diamond League

...Jamaican Janieve Russell second in 400m hurdles

Sunday, August 19, 2018

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BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) — A striking Shaunae Miller-Uibo put a dampener on Britain's European sprint champions Zharnel Hughes and Dina Asher-Smith's return to home soil in the Diamond League meeting at Birmingham yesterday.

Despite overcast skies and a strong wind, Bahamian Miller-Uibo — whose dyed purple hair brightened up the surroundings — and world indoor 60-metre champion Christian Coleman produced eye-catching performances in the women's 200m and men's 100m, respectively.

While potentially more medals await Asher-Smith and Hughes, Britain's 2012 Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford made his final Diamond League appearance, but there was to be no blazing farewell as the injury-plagued star finished last.

Coleman looked set for an easy victory but both Hughes' compatriot Reece Prescod, who won European 100m silver behind him in Berlin, and the fastest man in the world this year Noah Lyles ate into his lead, with Prescod given the same time as the winner of 9.94sec.

Asher-Smith gave a better account of herself than European 100m champion Hughes — who admitted to being tired after finishing fifth behind Coleman — as the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay European champion in Berlin finished second behind Olympic 400m champion Miller-Uibo, who timed a meet record of 22.15sec. world 200m champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands came in third while Jamaica's Shericka Jackson was fourth in 22.55.

“The main thing for me was just to have a great curve race and once I put myself into the race, off the curve I used my 400 strength to power home,” said Miller-Uibo.

“It was a really competitive race and everybody brought their 'A'-game,” added the 24-year-old.

European champion Lea Sprunger of Switzerland guaranteed herself a place in front of her home fans in Zurich for the Diamond League final with a courageous victory — her first in a Diamond League event — over Jamaica's Commonwealth Games queen Janieve Russell in the 400m hurdles.

Fred Kerley won the men's 400m in a modest 45.54sec as the young American came through to edge another of Britain's European champions, Matt Hudson-Smith.

Kerley and Hudson-Smith had to run down triple jump great Christian Taylor, who had set the early pace before finishing fourth.

Spain's 2016 Olympic 110m hurdles silver medallist Orlando Ortega ran a season's best 13.08sec — the second -fastest time this year — beating both Commonwealth champion Ronald Levy and the newly crowned European king Pascal Martinot-Lagarde of France.

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