Good night for Europe in Zurich | 31.08.2012
|Renaud Lavillenie of France capped a wonderful year by
winning the Diamond League title in Zurich on Thursday.
Britain's Robbie Grabarz capped a wonderful season by taking the Diamond League high jump title and $40,000 prize money even though he lost to the Olympic champion, Ivan Ukhov of Russia on the night. Ukhov cleared 2.31 at the third attempt while the Briton had to be content with 2.28. It has been a "crazy year" in the Briton's words, coming from nowhere and having lost his funding he has won the European title, Olympic bronze and now the Diamond League title. In Lausanne he cleared 2.37 to equal the British record, not bad for man whose best stood at 2.28 at the end of last season.
Olympic long jump silver, Yelena Sokolova of Russia, won with a leap of 6.92 with the Olympic champion, Britney Reese of the USA, retiring injured after round two. The Russian has had a wonderful season, going over 7m for the first time in her career with a lifetime best of 7.07 in the Olympic final.
Under grey skies and on a wet circle Sandra Perkovic of Croatia won the discus with a first round throw of 63.97 and was runaway winner of the Diamond League with 30 points, 24 points ahead of second place. It has been an outstanding season for Perkovic, winning first the European title and following that up with the Olympic crown to supplant Blanca Vlasic in the hearts of Croatian fans.
Yohan Blake of Jamaica set a meeting record in the 100m of 9.76 while the European champion, Christophe Lemaitre of France could finish no higher than sixth in 10.07. It is only ten days since Lemaitre returned from a holiday and his coach, Pierre Carraz, said his man was not sharp, but is targeting next week's Brussels 200m rather than Zurich.
Another meeting record of 19.66 was set by another Jamaican, Usain Bolt, in the 200m with European champion, Churandy Martina of the Netherlands, mirroring Lemaitre in sixth with 20.62.
Under terrible conditions, Italy's Fabrizio Donato claimed the scalp of the Olympic champion, Christian Taylor of the USA, in the triple jump landing at 17.29 in the last round. Taylor was leading with 17.16 from round three when the 36 year old Italian European champion snatched victory from him with a last gasp effort.
It was a European one-two-three in the javelin, Tero Pitkamaki enjoying a fine win with a final round throw of 85.27 – his second longest of the year - with fellow Finn and Olympic bronze, Antti Ruuskanen, second and Oleksandr Pyatnytsya of the Ukraine third. As this was the last chance to grab Diamond League points Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic stayed just out of reach to win.
Young British sprint hope, Adam Gemili, finished second in his B100m race beating amongst others, 9.95 performer Mario Forsythe of Jamaica, to clock 10.15 into a 0.7 headwind.
Gemili then anchored the British squad, getting the baton round safely to a fine third place in the 4x100m behind the USA and Jamaica in a time of 38.30.
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