Fresh from breaking the European 5000m record in the Rabat Diamond League last week, Sifan Hassan closed the curtain on the London Diamond League by moving to third on the world all-time lists with victory in the mile.
Hassan’s speed and strength both came into play as she had enough pace left to kick away from a loaded field - including reigning world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri from Kenya who pipped Hassan in Rabat last Friday - for victory in 4:14.71. The only athletes to have run faster than Hassan are Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba (4:14.30) and Russia’s Svetlana Masterkova (4:12.56).
“It's unbelievable how fast I ran today. I have the endurance and speed but don't normally have the last kick and today I did. Luckily I'm able to say I have the meeting record and Diamond League record today but it will be incredible to see how fast I can actually run in the future,” said Hassan.
Hassan made a late start to her summer campaign due to injury but the Dutchwoman is rounding into some formidable form ahead of the European Championships in Berlin. The worrying thing for her rivals is Hassan is confident of pulling out even better times later this season.
“I've managed to run a huge PB and it's almost four seconds quicker but it shows that my season is only just starting,” added Hassan, who looks set to contest the 5000m at the European Championships.
Laura Muir was hoping to use this race to surpass Zola Budd’s 33-year-old British mile record of 4:17.57. Muir was ahead of record pace through 400m in 63.9 and 800m in 2:08.4 but the early pace caught up with the Scotswoman who faded to fifth albeit in a by no means shabby finishing time of 4:19.28.
“I'm a bit disappointed but I went through the first part of the race too fast and when you do that it catches up with you for the latter half of the race,” she said. “I know that the time is there I just need to run it in a perfect way and I didn't do that today.”
Muir, who won gold medals in both the 1500m and 3000m at the European Indoor Championships last March, has been asked to be considered for selection in both the 800m and 1500m at the European Championships in Berlin.
Lasitskene equals world lead; Vallortigara breaks through
After a shock defeat in the Rabat Diamond League, normal service has been resumed in the high jump.
Two-time world champion Maria Lasitskene won her domestic title with 2.00m on Thursday and she cleared 2.04m again to equal her world lead in London, followed by three tries at an elusive Russian record of 2.08m.
“I feel very strong after today. Everything went really well and I feel in good shape I have the power to keep going forwards and going higher. The next step for me is preparation for the European Championships,” said Lasitskene, the silver medallists from Zurich four years ago.
But the victory was only assured when Elena Vallortigara decided to forego her final attempt at 2.04m. The Italian, who is finally breaking into the top ranks after a litany of injuries since her junior days, cleared 2.00m on her third attempt to improve her lifetime best by four centimetres before going clear again at 2.02m on her third attempt.
Vallortigara moves to second on the 2018 world lists behind Lasitskene and also has Antonella Di Martino’s national outdoor record of 2.03m in her sights.
In the discus, Sandra Perkovic was a class apart again. In her final competition before the European Championships in Berlin where she will aim to win her fifth successive title, the Croatian’s opening round throw of 67.24m - the only valid effort of her series - proved sufficient for victory ahead of Cubans Yaime Perez (64.63m) and Denia Caballero (63.91m).
Asher-Smith improves European 200m lead
Reigning European 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith improved her European leading mark from 22.29 to 22.25 to finish fourth behind Americans Jenna Prandini (22.16) and Gabrielle Thomas (22.19).
The quality of the race was such that reigning two-time world champion Dafne Schippers was only the third European home, beaten by her teammate Jamile Samuel for sixth, 22.37 to 22.42.
There was also yet another Norwegian record on the track, this time from Isabelle Pedersen in the 100m hurdles. A day after Karsten Warholm improved the national 400m hurdles record to 47.65, Pedersen eclipsed Christina Vukicevic’s mark of 12.74 with 12.72 in her heat and then 12.73 in the final.