Guliyev and Asher-Smith sizzle in the sprints in Stockholm

Ramil Guliyev
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World 200m champion Ramil Guliyev was among the winners at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku on Tuesday  

After some indifferent early season form, reigning world 200m champion Ramil Guliyev made it back-to-back wins on the IAAF Diamond League circuit on Sunday (10) afternoon with another victory over 200m in Stockholm.

Guliyev set a European-leading mark of 19.90 in the Oslo Diamond League on Thursday and he almost matched that time in Stockholm, stopping the clock at 19.92.

Guliyev powered clear in the last 50 metres from Canada’s Aaron Brown, who finished second in 20.07, but the anticipated match-up with Steven Gardiner from the Bahamas failed to materialise. He pulled up in the home straight and jogged over the finish-line.

“I am happy that I performed today given the level of competition. I think I can go better and build a good time for the European Championships,” said Guliyev, whose next race will be at the Golden Spike in Ostrava on Wednesday.

Dina Asher-Smith reversed the outcome in Oslo on Thursday night, getting the better of world indoor 60m champion Murielle Ahoure from the Ivory Coast. Asher-Smith lowered her British 100m record to 10.92 in Oslo and she was just outside that mark in Stockholm, winning in 10.93 to Ahoure’s 11.03.

“I was especially happy with the second half of the race. The start wasn't quite what I wanted but after that I was happy with how I came through as this is what my coach and my team have been working on,” said Asher-Smith.

Warholm improves his European U23 400m hurdles record

Reigning world champion Karsten Warholm from Norway is yet to find a way to defeat Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba this season but it is certainly not want of trying.

Samba improved his Asian record and world-leading mark to 47.41, his fifth sub-48 clocking in as many races in 2018. Warholm left everything on the track and came away with a runner-up finish in 47.81 to eclipse his Norwegian record and European U23 record.

“I am getting closer each race so today I was pushing Samba,” said Warholm. “He was the better man, of course, but I felt like I did my job and I had so much fun especially with a PB as well you have to be happy.”

There was also a national record for Nadine Visser from the Netherlands who finished fourth in the 100m hurdles in 12.71, breaking a record which had stood since 1989.

Brianna McNeal won in a meeting record of 12.38 with Alina Talay from Belarus third in 12.55, the second fastest time of her career behind her European-leading 12.41 from St. Polten.

In the 1500m, Laura Muir couldn't reel in Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay who boldly followed the close-to-world record early pace but the double European indoor champion improved her European-leading mark to 3:58.53 as Tsegay was rewarded with a lifetime best of 3:57.64.