Birthday boy Lemaitre is an Oslo star

Birthday boy Lemaitre is an Oslo star
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Christophe Lemaitre won his first career Diamond League event to celebrate his 25th birthday on Thursday night.

The 50th anniversary of the Bislett Games in Oslo on Thursday night was a time for celebration and the evening proved memorable for European athletes who won six events.

France’s Christophe Lemaitre had not yet made his mark during this outdoor season but that all changed with a sizzling performance in the 200m to mark his 25th birthday in style winning his first career Diamond League event.

Against a strong wind reading of -1.2, Lemaitre won in 20.21, a season’s best time, as he beat South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana in 20.39 and Great Britain’s Richard Kilty in 20.54 to move to joint top of the IAAF Diamond Race. And this run will surely send out signals to his rivals across the world that he is just warming up for the summer.

Three years younger than Lemaitre, Britain’s Laura Muir will never forget her night at the Bislett Games as she produced the best victory of her career also winning her first Diamond League event in the 1500m.

Muir showed real ability as she was the only athlete to stay with the pacemaker from the start, a tactic which worked as she held off a late challenge from Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon to win by 0.55 in 4:00.39 with Ethiopian Dawit Seyaum in third in 4:02.90.

I heard them coming as the crowd got louder but I managed to keep on running. This is the biggest win of my career. Laura Muir (GBR) speaking to British Athletics

Her teammate Greg Rutherford, the Olympic champion, is having a fine outdoor season, and he followed up his win in Birmingham last Sunday with a long jump of 8.25m as he leads the Diamond race.

After achieving that distance with his third jump, Rutherford did not compete again, with American Michael Hartfield in second with 8.04m ahead of Russia’s world champion Aleksandr Menkov with 8.00m.

The men’s discus was the opening Diamond League event of the night and, as with the long jump, round three brought the winning mark as Poland’s Robert Urbanek threw 63.85m to triumph, having led from his first effort of 63.52m which still would have proved enough.

He beat Erik Cadee, of the Netherlands, who was second on countback from another Pole, Piotr Malachowski, as they both finished with a best of 62.32m.

Malachowski leads the Diamond race from Urbanek by one point.

Round one was all that Germany’s Christina Schwanitz would have needed to win the shot put - but she had a fine series where all five of her legal efforts would have brought victory.

She remains top of the race after winning with 20.14m, with her other distances after a second round foul being 19.62m, 19.66m, 19.54m and 19.48m, as she beat Americans Michelle Carter, in second with 19.20m, and Brittany Smith, third with 18.93m.

The women’s javelin saw Israel’s Marharyta Dorozhon improve her national record to 64.56m to defeat South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen with 64.36m, the Czech Republic’s Barbora Spotakova making another steady improvement with a season’s best of 64.10m after her 63.45m in Prague on Monday.

After falling in the 1500m in Prague, Spotakova’s fellow Czech teammate Jakub Holusa ran a personal best of 3:53.46 as he finished sixth in the Dream Mile won by Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop in 3:51.45, while Italy’s Marco Fassinotti equalled the national high jump record of 2.33m as he finished second behind China’s Zhang Guowei with 2.36m.

Fassinotti was one of four men to achieve that height, securing second on countback from Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and American Erik Kynard, who were tied for third, with Ukraine’s world and European champion Bohdan Bondarenko in fifth.

Bondarenko passed after 2.33m but could not clear 2.38m, despite promising attempts.