Qatar’s Abdallelah Haroun ran a personal best of 44.07 seconds, also a national record, to win the 400m event at the London Diamond League meeting at Olympic Park yesterday.
The victory was Haroun’s first at a Diamond League meeting this season, having shown a lot of promise in the year that also features the Asian Games with second place finishes in Doha, Rome and Rabat, and a third place finish in Shanghai.
The 2017 World Championships bronze medallist also had compatriot Abderrahman Samba for company in the line-up.
Haroun, who had won his London bronze at the same venue last year, finished ahead of American Paul Dedweo, who ran a personal best 44.43, and Grenadian James Kirani (44.50), who was making a return to Diamond League action for the first time in two years.
“Before I came here I was training so hard and my coach told me that was because he wanted me to do the best once again and not to care about anyone else. In the final 150m it’s always so difficult to push but I gave it everything and to have the national record is something special,” Haroun said after the victory.
“The finals won’t be easy because we also have the Asian Games at the same time but I love racing full stop so every race to me is a huge final.”
Norwegian world champion Karsten Warholm claimed another national record of 47.65 in winning the 400m hurdles.
He took full advantage of the rare absence of Samba, winner of all six of his Diamond League races in the event this season, who opted for a run over the flat where a personal best of 44.62 was good enough for fifth in a rapid race.
New mum Fraser-Pryce back under 11 seconds
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s post-pregnancy climb back to the top of women’s sprinting took another significant step yesterday when she dipped under 11 seconds for the first time this season to win the 100 metres.
The 31-year-old double Olympic and triple world champion over the distance gave birth to her first child last August and has vowed to get back into the medal mix.
“I’m so excited, that is so good,” said the Jamaican. “I took the time off, I didn’t pay any attention to what others said about my comeback.
“I continued to work hard and London is definitely the best place and to come here and win, with my first sub-11, is fantastic,” added the Jamaican, who won her second Olympic gold and a 200m silver at the stadium in 2012.
“I’m used to sacrificing and making sure that my path is right. Being a mother is my first priority and to come back and be flexible with my training is wonderful and I’m so excited about next year now.”
American Dezerea Bryant took second in 11.04 ahead of Jamaica’s Jonielle Smith, who ran an 11.07 personal best.
Season leader Marie-Josee Ta Lou, her Ivory Coast team mate Murielle Ahoure and Jamaican Elaine Thompson all opted to run the 100m in the Monaco Diamond League on Friday night.
American Ronnie Baker took a close men’s 100m in 9.90, holding off fast-finishing Briton Zharnel Hughes (9.93) and South African Commonwealth Games winner Akani Simbine (9.94).
“I knew this was a fast track and I felt fast today,” said Baker after a race where six men broke 10 seconds. “Two 9.90s today (his heat time) and I know consistency means that a drop in time is coming. Hopefully I can take that world lead and better it. There is a lot of competition.”
World indoor 60m champion Christian Coleman had been due to race but aggravated a hamstring injury while warming up for his heat and was forced to withdraw.
The meeting continues today where the men’s and women’s 200m will be the main attraction.
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