Asher-Smith flies to world-leading 200m in 22.18 in Stockholm

Dina Asher-Smith
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Dina Asher-Smith after winning the 200m at the 2019 IAAF Diamond League in Doha

Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith defied the bitterly cold and unseasonable conditions at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm to run a world-leading 200m in 22.18 on Thursday night (30).

Running out of lane four, the 2018  European Athlete of the Year got a superb start and had a half-a-stride lead coming off the bend, an advantage she extended down the home straight to leave her a clear winner over Jamaica’s 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, a distant second in 22.66, while the Netherlands’ two-time defending world champion Dafne Schippers was third in 22.78.

“My aim was to come, win and run my own race which is very important in a race of that calibre,” reflected Asher-Smith. “I didn't expect to run that kind of time as it is quite cold.”

Karston Warholm was no less impressive his first 400m hurdles outing of the year, Norway’s reigning world champion coming home a long way clear of a good-quality international field to win 47.85, becoming the first European this year to break not only 49 seconds but 48 seconds as well.

“I felt like I went out hard and managed to take 13 steps until hurdle nine which is really good in these conditions so maybe this is the year I will go 13 all the way,” said Warholm.

“I had no problems with the cold or wind but I won in London (at the 2017 World Championships) in the rain and I have to learn to run in all conditions. It is an outdoor sport so whether it is cold or warm I have to run.”

Sweden had two crowd pleasing wins in Diamond League events: one reasonably expected, the other definitely not.

Daniel Stahl had opened his 2019 campaign with a magnificent world-leading effort of 70.56m at the IAAF Diamond league meeting in Doha earlier this month and despite the very different conditions, he showed that he is a man for all seasons.

After opening with a foul, he then hurled his second effort out to 69.57m, which elicited something akin to a grin from the normally stoic-looking Stahl.

“I threw a bit too high today, that’s really why I didn’t throw even longer; but it’s there, it’ll come. It feels like I had 60 per cent power in my winning throw, I didn’t really put everything in. It was a decent throw though and good for my self confidence.” commented Stahl afterwards.

There was a big upset in the men’s long jump as Sweden’s 2019 European indoor silver medallist Thobias Montler produced a legal personal best of 8.22m, his jump coming in the wake of his only slightly wind-assisted effort of 8.43m in warmer conditions in Spain a week ago.

For good measure, while being watched by a large gathering of family and friends, Montler also had jumps of 8.14m and 8.13m in later rounds which were also better than anyone else in the star-studded field could manage.

Russia’s Mariya Lasitskene won the high jump after being the only woman to clear 1.92m, an event clearly effected by the cold and wind as evidenced by almost every competitors' post-event comments.

In non-Diamond League events, Great Britain’s Laura Muir won the 1500m by more than four second in a 4:05.35, Sweden’s Angelica Bengtsson won the pole vault with 4.57m and Belarus’ Aliona Dubitskaya was the best in the shot put with 18.49m.

On the men’s side, Bosnia’s Amel Tuka produced a useful turn of speed down the home straight to win the 800m in 1:46.68 and Sweden’s Wictor Petersson triumphed in the shot put with a best effort of 20.11m.

Full results can be found here.