Qatar’s world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim is flying strong on his way back from an injury as the high jumper made a fantastic return to Diamond League action in London yesterday.
The 28-year-old jumped 2.27m yesterday to finish second at the London Anniversary Games yesterday as Syrian Majd Eddin Ghazal took his first Diamond League victory with a 2.30m effort.
The 2017 World Athlete of the Year returned to training in April this year, and has now breached the 2.27m mark twice since returning to competitive action last month in Sopot, Poland.
Barshim, who suffered a ligament injury in his left ankle last year in Hungary while attempting a world record height of 2.46m after clearing 2.40m for a win, is aiming to peak at the right time for the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019, which will be held at Khalifa International Stadium in the Qatari capital in September.
“First of all I am really happy to be back,” Barshim said yesterday. “It has been a while since I have been in an arena and the Diamond League, July last year.
“I feel great especially coming back to London. I have so many great memories of being here. I wanted to do better of course but I have things I can work on and I just need to compete more.
“High jump is very technical and you need time to get back into your rhythm but I am in the right place, I did not feel any pain today which is a good thing and I just need to compete more.
“It is very important to fit and healthy to perform on home soil in Doha.”
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fired a warning to her sprint rivals ahead of the world championships as Hellen Obiri set the fastest time of the year in the 5000 metres yesterday.
Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce got away quickly in the 100m final and never looked like being caught by home favourite Dina Asher-Smith, winning in a time of 10.78 seconds.
World 200m champion Dafne Schippers was disqualified after a false start at the Diamond League event.
No Americans were in the 100m field at the London Stadium because their world championship qualifiers are coming up this week.
Kenya’s Obiri, world champion in the women’s 5000m, posted a time of 14 minutes 20.36 seconds — the best of the year so far.
Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, who broke the 23-year-old women’s mile record in Monaco last week, had to settle for bronze.
Britain’s Lynsey Sharp was a popular winner in the women’s 800m, outlasting Australia’s Catriona Bisset to win in a time of 1:58.61.
In other women’s track events, Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton won the 400m hurdles in 54.16 sec.
Germany’s Malaika Mihambo won the women’s long jump with a leap of 7.02 metres.
Asian 200m record
China’s Xie Zhenye set a new Asian record in winning the men’s 200m in 19.88sec while Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield won the 400m in 44.40sec.
China’s Xie Wenjun won the 110m hurdles in a time of 13.28sec.
World indoor 1500m record holder Samuel Tefera of Ethiopia ran the fastest mile of the year so far in a time of 3:49.45, beating Norway’s Filip Ingebrigtsen by just 0.15sec.
The mile is not an Olympic or world championship distance.
Ingebrigtsen, 26, who set a new Norwegian record, is the older brother of 18-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who finished second in Saturday’s 5000m. Sweden’s Daniel Stahl won the men’s discus with a throw of 68.56m.
Britain’s men’s sprinters won the 4x100m relay, clocking 37.60sec, the fastest time of the year.
There are Diamond League events to come in Birmingham, Paris, Zurich and Brussels in the lead-up to the world championships in Doha, which start on September 27.
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