ASHER-SMITH & PROCTOR BREAK BRITISH RECORDS ON 'SUPER SATURDAY' AT SAINSBURY'S ANNIVERSARY GAMES
There was double delight on day two of the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games as Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie) and Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) both broke their own British records in a crazy two minutes inside the former Olympic stadium.
The Sainsbury's performance of the day deservedly went to Asher-Smith for that record breaking 10.99 run, which came as she won heat one of the women's 100m. That time knocked three hundredths off her old record set two months ago in the Netherlands, which is where the eventual 100m winner Dafne Schippers is from.
Heptathlete turned sprinter, Schippers was also in record breaking from, running a scorching 10.92 Dutch national record to take victory in the final, but it was Asher-Smith who undoubtedly got the biggest cheer. Fourth in the final with another strong 11.06 performance, the youngster was delighted with her day's work:
"It has been absolutely amazing - I thought I was in good shape but I didn't realise I was in that good shape!"
Well done to Dafne because making the switch from heptathlon to sprints isn't easy but she has made it look like she was made for it.
"I'm in the ten seconds now – I'm absolutely over the moon! When I crossed that line I was just beaming, I am so happy! Going into Beijing, I have my fingers crossed for selection next week, but I'm really looking forward to it."
As she did in her heat, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor finished second, just dipping inside 11 seconds with a 10.98 run, whilst Murielle Ahoure was third in 11.01.
Just moments after Asher-Smiths record breaking run, there was visible jubilation for Shara Proctor, who after three straight fouls broke the British long jump record with her final jump. Leading the competition all the way, she produced a textbook final round effort of 6.98m to eclipse her own British record.
"This crowd is what helped me the most - the claps just echoed and it gave me an extra boost. I honestly did not expect to jump so far - I'm just speechless. I'm happy to be here and be healthy. I'm happy to be back and competing so well in this stadium and there is more to come!"
It was also a good day for European U23 silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers (Alan Lerwill) who put together the best series of jumps of her young career, culminating in second place in 6.66m, just 5cm down on her personal best. Heptathlon queens Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) and Jess Ennis-Hill (Toni Minichiello) were fourth (6.50m) and seventh (6.37 SB) respectively.
The men's pole vault was very much worth the wait, as Renauld Lavillenie soaring over a 6.03m meeting record to take victory. After the weather caused last night's competition to be postponed, the field returned today and were treated to sunshine, and it clearly helped Lavillenie's performance.
Runner-up Shawn Barber broke the Canadian record with a 5.93m clearance in second, but it was Olympic champion Lavillenie who took the spoils.
"I'm very happy to be able to jump today instead of yesterday, as today was perfect conditions for us. It was sunny, it was not so cold and the wind was okay and it was a really good performance. Now I have to stay focused and go back and train for Beijing.
"Jumping six metes is always a good performance and to be able to do it again in London, for me is really important. It's good that I was able to clear at the first height is important, it's what I want for the World Championships."
Not only did they get the baton round safely, but GB & NI 'A' took a popular victory in the men's 4x100m relay ahead of a fast finishing French quartet. Making amends for a false start in the 100m yesterday, Richard Kilty ran a good leg before handing over to Harry Aikines-Aryeetey who stormed down the backstraight. James Ellington (Linford Christie) extended the lead around the bend and just about got the baton to Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) safely, the youngster holding his nerve to hold off Jimmy Vicaut and anchor the team to a 38.32 clocking.
In the end a photo-finish was needed as France were just two hundredths behind the winners, with GB & NI 'B' getting up for third in 38.73.
There was drama in the men's long jump as Marquis Dendy stole victory with his final jump of the competiton. He soared out to 8.38m, just 1cm shy of his personal best to surpass long-time leader Zarck Visser.
Greg Rutherford (Tawiah-Dodoo) had to settle for third, his best mark of 8.18m coming in round five after fouling his first three jumps. The Olympic champion was disappointed after only his second defeat in seven competitions this year.
"It was very frustrating; if I could have got one in the first three jumps I think I could have won the competition, but that's what happens in the long jump. If you don't get your run up correct you can end up finishing third like today, so I'm really disappointed.
"The crowd were out of this world, everything was incredible and I would have liked to have won again, so that is what has really hurt me. Obviously last time I was here was the greatest sporting day of my life and then to come away here with a third is not great, so I'm not pleased with that at all."
It was a yo-yo performance by Asbel Kiprop but he was in the right place at the right time, crossing the line first to win the Emsley Carr Mile for the second successive year. In truth it was a rather poor race as nobody wanted to take up the early running, meaning it would all come down to the last lap. After finding himself at the back, the rangy Kenyan moved up round the outside, before kicking away down the homestraight to win in 3.54.87.
Second place went to two-time 1500m world medallist Matthew Centrowitz in 3.55.03, with Charlie Grice (Bigg) the pick of the six Brits in the field, finishing an impressive fourth in 3.55.27.
The fireworks shot into the sky as Eunice Sum, clad in blue and with hair to match, took a sensational 1.58.44 victory in the women's 800m. The pace was good all the way but coming off the final bend it was the
Kenyan who was still full of running, and she streaked clear to take the win and with it four Diamond Race points.
Stepping down from 1500m, Sifan Hassan was rewarded for her efforts with a personal best in second place, whilst Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider) finished like a train to go from fifth to third down the homestraight. The Scot also ran her fastest time of 2015, 1.59.57, and afterwards said:
"It was good; it's the first race I've been tactically happy with! It has taken me a few races to get into it but it was good mixing it with the big girls so I'm happy with it. I want to get better each race I do, so everything is going in the right direction towards Beijing.
"It's unbelievable - the only thing I can compare this to is the Olympics and the Commonwealths, and it brought back so many memories - it's amazing. Now I've got Stockholm on Thursday, which is my last race before Worlds."
The men's 800m came down to a 100m sprint as Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha and Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos went head to head once more.
Since the Olympic Games in this stadium three years ago, Amos has a 5-0 head to head record against his great rival, and that trend continued again today, as the young Botswanan edged away in the final 30 metres to win in 1.44.57 versus 1.44.67.
There was also plenty to shout about for the British athletes in the field too; Michael Rimmer (Jon Bigg) running a second Beijing qualifying standard and season's best of 1.45.67 and two places further back in seventh, European junior champion Kyle Langford (George Harrison) obliterating his lifetime best with a 1.45.78 run.
There was a meeting record in the women's 200m as Elaine Thompson upset the favourites, smashing her personal best to take the win in 22.10. Chasing her hard down the homestraight was American Tori Bowie, whilst Margaret Adeoye (Christie) was the pick of the Brits in seventh. There was yet another season's best for Jessica Ennis-Hill, running 23.49 in her third event of the weekend, and of her form she commented:
"I have definitely got to be pleased with how the weekend went. I was made up with my hurdles, that did surprise me and the long jump is all about getting a bit more consistent and solid. The 200m was much harder because those girls are so quick. Hopefully with a little more training the times will continue to go down."
Commonwealth Games champion Mercy Cherono defied what looked like an unassailable Molly Huddle lead, running down the American in the final 400m to take 5,000m victory in 14.54.81. Huddle was the only athlete to go with the pacemaker, and brave as it was she paid the price for her fast early pace in the closing laps, but still broke 15 minutes with a 14.57.42 run in second, well clear of the rest of the field.
European U23 10,000m silver medallist Rhona Auckland (Joyce Hogg) showed her ever improving speed as she stepped down to 12 and a half laps and shattered her personal best, clocking 15.27.60 in seventh place. Kate Avery (Tony Simmons) was eighth in 15.27.94, whilst there were personal bests for Jess Coulson (Mick Woods) and Beth Potter (Woods) in tenth and thirteenth respectively.
It may not have been a Diamond Race, but the men's 400mH boasted a quality line-up, including the man who lies second in said competition, Johnny Dutch. It was his teammate Michael Tinsley who stole the show though, a comprehensive winner in 49.02. South African Lj van Zyl finished well to hold on to second, whilst GB & NI's Niall Flannery (Nick Dakin) ran a great race to finish third in 49.53. There was also a season's best of 49.85 for Dai Greene (Benke Blomkvist) in fifth.
South African record holder Wayde Van Niekerk put in a commanding performance to win the men's 400m in 44.63, well clear of his rivals. British athletes Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams) and Martyn Rooney (Reider) were sixth and seventh respectively in 45.43 and 45.73.
Just when Diamond Race leader Jarius Birech looked as if he'd won the men's 3000m steeplechase in a last lap burn up, his young compatriot Conseslus Kipruto accelerated off the final barrier to snatch victory in 8.09.47. The pace was steady all the way, meaning the pace was always going to pick up over the final 400m, so much so that former Olympic champion Paul Koech was run out of it in third. The sole Brit in the race Rob Mullett (David Leach) was left slightly disappointed as he came agonizingly close to the World Championships qualifying standard with an 8.31.32 personal best.
There was perhaps an upset in the women's shot put, as golden girl Valarie Adams had to settle for second as she continues her return from injury. It was Michelle Carter of the USA who prevailed, a first round effort of 19.74m wrapping up the win ahead of Adams' 18.59m.
Greek high-flier Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou took victory on countback in the women's pole vault, a first time clearance putting her ahead of runner-up Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia, who cleared 4.79m on her second attempt, a personal best.
There were three notable season's bests in the women's javelin where the first two were separated by just a single centimetre. Latvian Palameika Madara took the spoils in the end, her SB eclipsing Barbora Spotakova's that had come one round earlier. The third and final SB of the competition went to Goldie Sayers, who after returning from injury in Loughborough last week, threw 62.09m for sixth.