News02 Jan 2016

2015 IAAF Diamond League review – part 1


Christian Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo after their epic triple jump competition at the 2015 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha (© DECA Text & Bild)

A look back at the first seven meetings from the IAAF Diamond League in 2015.

Doha, 15 May

London 2012 Olympic Games triple jump champion Christian Taylor produced the first 18-metre effort of his career in the final round to go equal fourth on the all-time world list but still finished one place behind the winner on an astonishing night, Pedro Pablo Pichardo.

The 21-year-old Cuban’s magnificent third round effort of 18.06m - despite taking off with around six centimetres to spare - proved enough to win.

Taylor’s finale of 18.04m added eight centimetres to his previous best, set in winning the 2011 world title. Never before had two men bettered 18 metres in the same competition.

Pichardo’s was one of three IAAF Diamond League records at this opening meeting.

Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix won for her 12th time in Doha in 21.98, equalling the time set by Veronica Campbell-Brown in New York five years earlier.

Fellow American Jasmin Stowers, a 23-year-old competing internationally for the first time since the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships, won the 100m hurdles in a sizzling 12.35.

Kenya’s Virginia Nyamburu, tasked with pacing the women’s 3000m steeplechase field to the 2000m point, caused a huge upset by carrying on to win herself in 9:21.51.

Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman ran 1:43.78 to win a high-quality 800m. Tero Pitkamaki won the javelin with a last-round throw of 88.62m while Tianna Bartoletta also produced a winning final flourish in the women’s long jump with 6.99m.

Justin Gatlin won the men’s 100m in 9.74, fastest in the world for almost three years.

Shanghai, 17 May

This meeting, two days after Doha, gave top billing to the pursuit of the world high jump record by Bohdan Bondarenko and Mutaz Essa Barshim but Almaz Ayana upstaged the pair and provided the highlight by running the third fastest women’s 5000m time ever, 14:14.32.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian, who finished 150 metres clear, set a meeting record, an Asian all-comers’ record and an IAAF Diamond League record.

A failure at 2.41m by Bondarenko, after two unsuccessful attempts at 2.38m, left Barshim the winner at the latter height.

A chilly night produced four other 2015 world leads. Silas Kiplagat won the men’s 1500m in 3:35.29, and fellow Kenyan Jairus Birech took the 3000m steeplechase in 8:05.36

In the field events. China’s world and Olympic shot put bronze medallist Gong Lijiao reached 20.23m, the second best effort of her career, to beat Germany’s Christina Schwanitz, who was second with 19.94m, while Nikoleta Kiriakopolou won the women’s pole vault with a Greek outdoor record of 4.73m.

Triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen maintained her post-London 2012 winning run with a best of 14.85m.

Eighteen-year-old home hope Wang Jianan set an Asian junior record of 8.25m when finishing third in the long jump behind Russia’s 2013 world champion Aleksandr Menkov, who won with 8.27m, and USA’s Jeff Henderson, who took second with 8.26m.

Jamaica’s world and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce trailed home fifth behind winner Blessing Okagbare, who stopped the clock in 10.98.

Eugene, 30 May

Renaud Lavillenie, the 2014 World Athlete of the Year, shrugged off a lingering shoulder injury to set an outdoor personal best and IAAF Diamond League pole vault record of 6.05m.

Mutaz Essa Barshim required a meeting record of 2.41m to win a thrilling high jump in which China’s Zhang Guowei set a personal best of 2.38m.

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba missed her elder sister Tirunesh’s seven-year-old world 5000m record of 14:11.15, clocking an outdoor personal best of 14:19.76.

Colombia’s world triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen needed a sixth-round jump of 15.18m to trump the personal best of 15.04m set by Russia’s Yekaterina Koneva and extend her winning streak to 24 meetings.

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce won the 100m in 10.81, a 2015 world-lead, with Murielle Ahoure recording the same time for an Ivory Coast record and 2012 Olympic 400m champion Kirani James clocked the season’s first run under 44 seconds when he won in 43.95.

Justin Gatlin won the 200m in 19.68, equalling his personal best set in 2014.

Outstanding performances the night before the main part of the meeting came from Britain’s Mo Farah, victor in the men’s 10,000m in 26:50.97; plus home athletes Tianna Bartoletta, winner of the women’s long jump with a wind-assisted 7.11m, and Joe Kovacs, who produced a final effort of 22.12m to clinch victory over double world champion David Storl, who was second in 21.92m.

Rome, 4 June

Pedro Pablo Pichardo maintained his pre-eminence in the men’s triple jump by breaking the 1998 meeting record of 17.60m set by world record holder Jonathan Edwards with a mark of 17.96m that was also a stadium record.

Ethiopia’s 17-year-old world junior champion Yomif Kejelcha took 12 seconds off his 5000m personal best to win in a world-leading 12:58.39, with Kenya’s Paul Tanui second in 12:58.69, which was also a personal best.

Earlier, Kejelcha’s compatriot Mohammed Aman, the 2013 world 800m champion, also set a 2015 best as he won over two laps of the track in 1:43.56.

Another 2013, Czech Republic’s Vitezslav Vesely won an entertaining javelin competition with 88.14m.

Julius Yego set a Kenyan record of 87.71m in round four, adding 85cm to his own mark set a week earlier in Ostrava and in the final round, Trinidad and Tobago’s 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott also threw a national record of 86.20m.

A heavy fall off the fifth barrier left Australia’s Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson requiring surgery for a dislocation and complex fracture of both the ulna and the radius in her left arm.

World champion Brianna Rollins also fell and Jasmin Stowers saw her four-race winning run ended as she jogged home seventh after coming to grief at the eighth hurdle as their US compatriot Sharika Nelvis won in 12.52.

USA’s Jenny Simpson won the women’s 1500m in 3:59.31and Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng took almost seven seconds off her 3000m steeplechase personal best with 9:15.08, both times topping the 2015 lists.

Justin Gatlin won the 100m in a meeting record of 9.75.

Birmingham, 7 June

Kenya’s Julius Yego won an extraordinary javelin competition with a final effort of 91.39m that was initially ruled illegal but eventually confirmed as an African and IAAF Diamond League record and the best throw seen since 2006.

Until Yego’s dramatic finale, victory appeared destined for the Czech Republic’s world champion Viteslav Vesely, whose own last round effort of 88.18m, a season’s best, had taken him past Yego’s then lead of 86.53m and the national record of 86.43m set by Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott.

 Yego’s climactic throw was measured, despite being adjudged to have landed outside the sector. There was room for appeal however, as the sector lines had not been extended beyond 87m, and although the original decision was confirmed by the judges, the throw was declared valid 20 minutes after the meeting ended.

Britain’s 2012 Olympic champion Greg Rutherford won the long jump with 8.35m, the second-best of his career.

World, Olympic and European discus champion Sandra Perkovic reached 69.23m, smashing the meeting record of 66.16m set by Ellina Zvereva back in 2002.

Jenaba Tarmoh won the women’s 200m in 22.29, with US compatriot Allyson Felix second in the same time. Britain’s world junior champion Dina Asher-Smith was third in a personal best of 22.30.

Oslo, 11 June

Great Britain’s Laura Muir, China’s Zhang Guowei and Israel’s Marharyata Dorozhon produced surprise results in what was the 50th anniversary edition of the Bislett Games.

Muir defeated a world class women’s 1500m field containing four runners with superior personal bests after pushing on once the pacemakers had dropped out to establish a lead of around 40 metres at the bell.

To huge applause, the 22-year-old Scot got home in 4:00.39 as Kenyan record holder Faith Kipyegon, leading the chase, just failed to close the gap, crossing in 4:00.94.

Zhang prospered best in cold and windy conditions which frustrated the organisers’ hopes for a world high jump record, dancing with joy after earning victory with a clearance at 2.36m over a field that included the respective world outdoor and indoor champions, Bohdan Bondarenko and Mutaz Essa Barshim, who both managed 2.33m.

A second-round javelin throw of 64.56m enabled Dorozhon to finish clear of a javelin field including double Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova, world champion Christina Obergfoll and 2011 world champion Mariya Abakumova.

Kenya’s world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop earned his fourth Dream Mile victory in as many outings, clocking 3:51.45.

Genzebe Dibaba’s renewed attempt to better the world 5000m record of 14:11.15 set by elder sister Tirunesh on this track five years earlier ended in disappointment as she could only manage 14:21.29.

New York, 13 June

The return to full fitness of 800m world record holder David Rudisha continued as he won for a fourth consecutive time at this meeting, clocking 1:43.58, just 0.02 off the 2015 world-leading time by Mohammed Aman.

Rudisha, who had suffered a muscle spasm two weeks earlier in Ostrava, finished ahead of USA’s Boris Berian, who clocked a personal best of 1:43.84.

Brazil’s 2011 world pole vault champion Fabiana Murer defeated Greece’s Nikoleta Kyriakoupolou on countback after both had cleared 4.80m.

USA’s Francena McCorory won the 400m in a meeting record of 49.86, while compatriot Tori Bowie triumphed in the 200m in a season’s best of 22.23 despite a 2.8mps headwind.

World javelin champion Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic pulled out after two throws with an injury, but his best effort of 83.62m was enough to win.

Croatian discus thrower Sandra Perkovic moved to just one victory away from capturing the overall Diamond Race title despite it still being mid-June with a best winning effort of 68.44m.

Christabel Nettey earned her first Diamond League win in a women’s long jump where the leader changed five times, the Canadian eventually winning with 6.92m.

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF