British javelin No.1 stands out at the London Grand Prix as Christine Ohuruogu also posts impressive victory
An inspired Goldie Sayers excelled on the second day of the Aviva London Grand Prix by breaking her own UK record.
Sayers killed the competition dead in the first round as she opened with a UK record of 66.17m, a 42cm improvement on her previous mark.
The 29-year-old multiple UK champion also achieved her best-ever series, including a 65.74m in the third round and 64.44m in the second.
Olympic champion and world record-holder Barbora Spotakova was the runner-up in 64.19m, while world No.1 Sunette Viljoen was fourth with 63.33m.
Ohuruogu secures notable win
Christine Ohuruogu re-established herself as one of the prime contenders to defend her Olympic 400m title as she produced an electric one-lap victory to close the programme.
In some of the worst conditions imaginable, Ohuruogu timed her finish to perfection to defeat world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana.
Ohuruogu, who finished 0.82 behind Montsho in Paris last week, overturned this deficit to win by fourteen hundredths. Revealing the form Ohuruogu has found after two seasons ravaged by injuries, her 50.42 season’s best was 0.38 faster than her season’s best heading into the Beijing Olympics where she won the gold medal in 49.62.
After the race, Ohuruogu said: “I just wanted to sharpen up for London. I’ve done all the work so I’m happy that I can take something like that away. I knew I had a good chance. I saw her (Montsho) look back so then I thought, ‘I’ve got you now’. It’s good that I put the race together and came out with a strong time.”
Murray runner-up on mile debut
World-class British middle-distance runners have been in scant supply in recent years but Ross Murray finished inches behind sub-3:30 1500m performer Silas Kiplagat in the Emsley Carr Mile. The Olympic-bound 1500m runner produced a storming finish to come through for second with a 3:52.77 debut but Kiplagat, who will be one of the favourites for the Olympic title next month, held on for victory with 3:52.44.
Murray finished ahead of some of the world’s best 1500m runners, including African champion Caleb Ndiku, third in 3:53.15, while Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis, who went with the pacemakers through 800m in 1:52.59 and 1200m in 2:50.21, faded on the last lap to fourth in 3:53.64.
Murray said: “‘It was absolutely amazing coming down that home straight. I’ve never heard anything like it in my life. Going in to the Olympics, what more do I need? I excelled myself again, which is unbelievable for me.”
Former winner Bernard Lagat, who is focusing on the 5000m next month, sharpened up with 3:54.17 in sixth.
Fitness concerns for Idowu and Porter
Murmurings Phillips Idowu was not going to compete held credence as the 2009 world champion was a late withdrawal from the triple jump. Idowu, who has not competed since June 1 but has been denying injury doubts, cited tightness in his left hip on this occasion.
Despite cold and wet conditions, world champion Christian Taylor scored an impressive series in Idowu’s absence. He achieved the best jump of the competition of 17.41m in the final round.
Idowu was not the only high-profile British injury concern as Tiffany Porter pulled up halfway through her 100m hurdles heat. Reports as to the extent and nature of her injury varied.
Lemaitre sub-20 on UK debut
Christophe Lemaitre produced a stellar performance in his first appearance on a track in the UK. The Frenchman, who defended his European 100m title in Helsinki last month, has suggested he will focus on the 200m in London and he established himself as a firm medal contender in this event.
Lemaitre, in his first high-profile 200m of the year, sped to victory in 19.91 and only Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt have run faster this year.
Danny Talbot was the leading Brit in fourth in a season’s best of 20.59.
Green in PB form
Jack Green put his 400m hurdles strength to great use in the national-level 400m race. Rob Tobin was the fastest over the first 300m but the European under-23 400m hurdles champion reeled him in during the closing stages. Green was rewarded with his second PB in less than 24 hours as he crossed the line in 45.99 for an improvement of six hundredths.
US champion Kellie Wells handed Sally Pearson a shock defeat in the 100m hurdles. The American came through strongly in the closing stages to claim victory in 12.57 to Pearson’s 12.59. Apart from a DNF in Brussels last year when she fell, this was Pearson’s first loss at the event since August 2010.
Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria won the 100m in 11.01 ahead of Carmelita Jeter’s 11.03. The billed head-to-head with Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce did not come to much as the Jamaican pulled up halfway and jogged across the line.
Barbara Parker finished third in the 3000m steeplechase in her second fastest time ever of 9:29.22 in a race won by Ancuta Bobocel of Romania in a PB of 9:27.24.
Poland’s Adam Kszczot ran an even-paced race to win the 800m. Last at the bell, the European indoor champion overhauled British No.1 Andrew Osagie in the closing stages to take victory in 1:44.49.
Osagie also claimed Diamond League points by taking third in 1:45.21. Abubaker Kaki initially went with the sub-50 pace but paid for it, finishing fourth in 1:46.05.
World champion Kirani James prevailed in the 400m in 44.85 ahead of Chris Brown, 14 years his senior, second in a season’s best of 44.95. Nigel Levine was the first Brit in fourth in 45.27 with Martyn Rooney, a winner on this track in 2008, sixth in 45.31.
Molly Beckwith and Janeth Jepkosgei were credited with 2:00.68 in the 800m but Beckwith was given the verdict ahead of the 2007 world champion. Marilyn Okoro finished fourth in 2:01.32.
Trinidad & Tobago won the 4x100m in 38.23 while Great Britain’s A team finished fourth in 38.80.
Rowena Cole won a keenly contested ‘On Camp With Kelly’ 800m in 2:04.01. Claire Tarplee and Phillipa Aukett set PBs of 2:04.08 and 2:04.11 respectively in second and third.
Aldama in-form but Grabarz beaten
Katerina Ibarguen from Colombia handed European champion Olha Saladuha her first defeat of the summer. The Pan-American champion achieved the two longest jumps of the competition of 14.61m and 14.66m to defeat the Ukrainian by 20 centimetres.
World indoor champion Yamile Aldama made a promising return to fitness after a shoulder injury forced her to miss the European Championships. In her first high-profile competition since May 31, Aldama struggled with her rhythm in the opening rounds but moved into third with 14.37m (-1.6 m/s) in the fifth round, which was backed up with 14.33m in the final round.
European champion Robbie Grabarz also suffered a rare defeat in the high jump. The Belgrave Harrier cleared 2.22m at his first attempt before bowing out at 2.26m. However, he was somewhat unfortunate as the conditions worsened on his third attempt at this height. Derek Drouin from Canada was the only athlete to clear this height.
Reese Hoffa won the shot put with 21.34m although Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski came close to this mark with a final-round effort of 21.28m.