September 6, 2019
The 2019 IAAF Diamond League track and field / athletics season came to a close this evening as the 2019 AG Memorial Van Damme in Brussels served as the second of the two Diamond League finals. While the conditions were cool (62 F/ 16.7) and rainy at times, the competition was hot for the $50,000 first prize in the Diamond League events. We recap all of the women’s action for you below, starting with the women’s 5000. Ajee Wilson‘s win in the women’s 800 gets its own article:
The recap of the men’s events is here.
Women’s 5000: Sifan Hassan CRUSHES the field
A week ago at the first Diamond League final in Zurich, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands and Nike Oregon Project was sensational as she used a massive last lap of 57-mid to destroy the field and win the 1500 by nearly two full seconds in 3:57.08. Tonight, Hassan used the same tactics as this time a 59-mid final last lap gave her an even bigger margin of victory of 3.28 seconds as she won the 5,000 in 14:26.26.
Letesenbet Gidey, 20-year-old World XC bronze medallist from Ethiopia, broke this race open late with a 65.77 third-to-last lap and finished a much-deserved second in 14:29.54, just ahead of Hassan’s NOP teammate Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany (14:29.89). The reigning world 5000 and World XC champ Hellen Obibi of Kenya, who entered tonight’s competition undefeated against Hassan at 5000 (4-0), had nothing on the last lap and was fourth in 14:33.90.
The race was supposed to be rabbitted out at 14:16 pace (4:17 for 1500), but that was never going to happen. Whoever thought that a woman who has only run 4:14 for 1500 this year (and 4:13 for her career) was capable of running a 4:17 even paced from the front doesn’t know much about track and field (Kiwi Camille Buscomb of New Zealand was the rabbit).
The racers were practically falling over themselves trying not to collide with the rabbit before Buscomb stepped off the track between 1400 and 1500 meters (they hit 1500 in something like 4:27-8). After the rabbit departed, not much happened until the last 1k as they hit 2k in 5:54.62 and 3k in 8:52.58. Just before 4k, Gidey put in a big move to break the lead pack up. Hassan was running in the back of the field at the time and found herself momentarily gapped, but she smartly took her time to rejoin the lead pack. Heading into the last lap, the lead pack was down to four and Hassan was the last of the four. She was content to run most of the penultimate turn in the back on the rail before she moved out wide and accelerated. Once Hassan went, it looked like everyone else was standing still.
And for good reason. She covered her last 300 in an unofficial 43.3 (28.8 final 200) to close out a 59.5 final lap.
5000 Metres - Women - Diamond Discipline 1 Hassan , Sifan NED 14:26.26 2 Gidey , Letesenbet ETH 14:29.54 3 Klosterhalfen , Konstanze GER 14:29.89 4 Obiri , Hellen KEN 14:33.90 5 Kipkemboi , Margaret Chelimo KEN 14:36.48 6 Tirop , Agnes Jebet KEN 14:37.32 7 DeBues-Stafford , Gabriela CAN 14:44.12 8 Worku , Fantu ETH 14:45.59 9 Chepkoech , Beatrice KEN 14:46.58 10 Kipkirui , Caroline Chepkoech KEN 14:47.04 11 Cherono , Eva KEN 14:50.13 Buscomb , Camille NZL DNF
Quick Take: We imagine this means Hassan will now do the 10,000/5,000 double
Hassan was so good we think she’ll probably do the 10,000/5,000 double at Worlds as coach Alberto Salazar planned. That being said, she’s in such good form, we think she could pull off the 10,000/1,500 double if she went for that.
Judging by the Oregon Project’s Instagram account, however, a decision has yet to be made. We’re glad the 10k/1500 is one of the options being considered.
Obiri’s form seems to be slipping. She now lost her last two races as she was beaten in the 10,000 at the Kenyan Trails on August 21 as well.
Quick Take: A 7th national record for Gabriela DeBues-Stafford
DeBues-Stafford has been on fire all year long — her first under the tutelage of Laura Muir’s coach Andy Young — and that continued tonight as she broke her own Canadian record in the 5000 of 14:51.59 by running 14:44.12 for 7th. Indoors, she set Canadian records in the mile (4:24.80) and 5000 (14:57.45). Outdoors, she’s broken a Canadian record five different times as she set one in the mile in Monaco (4:17.87), and twice broke both the 1500 record (4:00.26 in London and 3:59.59 in Zurich) and 5000 record (14:51.59 in Stockholm and 14:44.12 tonight)
Quick Take: Good news US steeple fans — Beatrice Chepkoech isn’t in unbeatable shape
The world record holder in the steeple Beatrice Chepkoech was in this race and she ended up 9th in 14:46.68, well off her 14:39.33 pb. If she was in say, 14:30 5000 shape, no way any steeplechaser is going to beat her. But at 14:46, she’s somewhat vulnerable.
Women’s 100: Asher-Smith wins
Brit Dina Asher-Smith, the double European champ, got the win over co-world leader Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by running a seasonal best of 10.88 as SAFP was second in 10.95. Had it not been for the cool conditions (62 F/16.7C) and a slight headwind (-.3 m/s), Asher-Smith might have broken her own national record of 10.85.
100 Metres - Women - Diamond Discipline Wind: -0.3 m/s 1 Asher-Smith , Dina GBR 10.88 2 Fraser-Pryce , Shelly-Ann JAM 10.95 3 Ta Lou , Marie-Josée CIV 11.09 4 Schippers , Dafne NED 11.22 5 Okagbare , Blessing NGR 11.24 6 Hobbs , Aleia USA 11.29 7 Emmanuel , Crystal CAN 11.38 8 Lückenkemper , Gina GER 11.45
Quick Take: A British woman hasn’t won a global 100/200 medal in 36 years, but that should change soon
While we wouldn’t hand the gold medal to Asher-Smith just quite yet as we imagine the Brit is much more accustomed to running in cool conditions than the Jamaican SAFP and Elaine Thompson wasn’t in the race today, it will be a major disappointment if Asher-Smith doesn’t bag at least one medal in Doha. She’ll have the third-best seasonal best of all the entrants in Doha in both the 100 and 200.
Women’s 100 Hurdles: Williams crushes Harrison
The recent hot form of Jamaican record holder and world leader Danielle Williams continued as she recorded her third straight sub-12.50, winning convincingly in 12.46 as world record holder Kendra Harrison was way back in second in 12.73, just ahead of Nia Ali (12.74). Williams’ win was a nightmare scenario for American Sharika Nelvis, who was fourth tonight (12.83) and also fourth at USAs. Had an American won, she’d be going to Worlds. Now, while she was 4th in the DL, she’ll be sitting a home as the 2017 world champ wasn’t American either (it was the since-retired Sally Pearson of Australia).
Williams’ win was good for Jamaica as Williams had controversially been named to the Jamaican WC team even though she was DQ’d at the Jamaican nationals. Now Jamaica will get a 4th spot.
Speaking of DQs, Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, the 2017 NCAA champ for UTEP, was DQ’d for a false start even though she started after the gun went off as her .096 reaction time was just below the .10 allowed.
100 Metres Hurdles - Women - Diamond Discipline Wind: 0.0 m/s 1 Williams , Danielle JAM 12.46 2 Harrison , Kendra USA 12.73 3 Ali , Nia USA 12.74 4 Nelvis , Sharika USA 12.83 5 Clemons , Christina USA 12.84 6 Roleder , Cindy GER 13.12 7 Herman , Elvira BLR 13.12 Amusan , Tobi NGR DQ Zagre , Anne BEL DQ
Women’s 400m Hurdles: Sage Watson wins over weak field
This wasn’t a Diamond League event and was the final event of the evening, presumably hoping to feature a strong performance by Belgian Hanne Claes. Claes couldn’t deliver the goods and finished 4th in 57.08 (season’s best is 55.36) as Sage Watson got the win in 55.58.
400 Metres Hurdles - Women - Promotional Event 1 Watson , Sage CAN 55.58 2 Couckuyt , Paulien BEL 56.68 3 Folorunso , Ayomide ITA 56.80 4 Claes , Hanne BEL 57.08 5 Russell , Janieve JAM 57.34 6 Pedroso , Yadisleidis ITA 57.60 7 Belle , Tia-Adana BAR 57.73 8 Gonzalez , Melissa COL 58.16 9 Zupin , Agata SLO 58.91
Women’s Pole Vault: Stefanidi gets season’s best to win
Reigning Olympic and world champ Katerina Stefanidi picked the right time to round into form as her 4.83 season’s best got her the win over Russian Anzehlika Sidorova. Jenn Suhr and Sandi Morris both struggled as Katie Nageotte was the top American in 4th.
Pole Vault - Women - Diamond Discipline 1 Stefanidi , Katerina GRE 4.83 2 Sidorova , Anzhelika ANA 4.83 3 Newman , Alysha CAN 4.77 4 Nageotte , Katie USA 4.70 5 Bradshaw , Holly GBR 4.70 5 Peinado , Robeilys VEN 4.70 7 Suhr , Jennifer USA 4.70 8 Morris , Sandi USA 4.63 8 Silva , Yarisley CUB 4.63 10 Li , Ling CHN 4.63 11 Bengtsson , Angelica SWE 4.63 12 Meijer , Michaela SWE 4.41 Smets , Fanny BEL NM
Women’s Discus: Perez repeats
Last year, when Cuba’s Yaime Perez won the DL title, it came as a shock, bringing to an end Sandra Perkovic’s six-year run of dominance. This year, it was an expectation: Perez entered with the world lead at 69.39m and two DL wins under her belt in 2019. Perkovic summoned a solid effort for second, but Perez took the lead in the first round, extending it in rounds four and six to win with a best toss of 68.27 and successfully defend her title.
Discus Throw - Women - Diamond Discipline 1 Pérez , Yaimé CUB 68.27 2 Perkovic , Sandra CRO 66.00 3 Pudenz , Kristin GER 63.73 4 Caballero , Denia CUB 63.53 5 Vita , Claudine GER 62.15 6 Allman , Valarie USA 61.70 7 Müller , Nadine GER 61.39 Robert-Michon , Mélina FRA DNS
Women’s Long Jump: Mihambo is dominant
German Malaika Mihambo, the European champ and 2019 world leader, got the win with her third round jump of 7.03m, although any of her three jumps (all taken in rounds 1-2-3 were good enough to win) as she also jumped 6.97 and 6.99. American champ Brittney Reese, the 5 time global outdoor champion, moved up from 4th to 2nd on her last jump (6.85m).
Long Jump - Women - Diamond Discipline Wind 1 Mihambo , Malaika GER 7.03 -0.9 2 Reese , Brittney USA 6.85 +0.6 3 Johnson-Thompson , Katarina GBR 6.73 -0.2 4 Bekh-Romanchuk , Maryna UKR 6.73 +0.9 5 Ugen , Lorraine GBR 6.70 +1.0 6 Sokolova , Yelena ANA 6.54 +1.3 7 Stratton , Brooke AUS 6.53 +0.9 8 Ibarguen , Caterine COL 6.26 -0.4 9 Maudens , Hanne BEL 5.80 +1.1
Women’s High Jump: Lasitskene cruises
Russian Mariya Lasitskene remained undfeated outdoors for the year and won her third straight DL titel by getting over 1.99 without a miss. Belgium’s heptathlon star Nafissatou Thiam, who is the 2nd highest high jumper on the year, was third at 1.95 as the Ukraine’s Yuliya Levchenko was 2nd (1.97). American Vashti Cunningham didn’t enter the meet and hasn’t competed since USAs.
High Jump - Women - Diamond Discipline 1 Lasitskene , Mariya ANA 1.99 2 Levchenko , Yuliya UKR 1.97 3 Thiam , Nafissatou BEL 1.95 4 Licwinko , Kamila POL 1.95 5 Demireva , Mirela BUL 1.93 6 Mahuchikh , Yaroslava UKR 1.89 7 McDermott , Nicola AUS 1.89 8 Kinsey , Erika SWE 1.85 8 Šimic , Ana CRO 1.85 10 Gerashchenko , Iryna UKR 1.85 11 Demidik , Karyna BLR 1.85 12 Vallortigara , Elena ITA 1.85 13 Spencer , Levern LCA 1.80