Genzebe Dibaba and Elaine Thompson narrowly beat Laura Muir and Dina Asher-Smith, while Michael Norman pips Noah Lyles in sprint showdown

The many highly-anticipated head-to-heads at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea didn’t disappoint on Thursday evening as some top-class competition led to impressive performances at the fourth Diamond League meeting of the season.

Laura Muir and Dina Asher-Smith both ran superbly in second as Genzebe Dibaba and Elaine Thompson continued their return to top form, while Michael Norman secured success in a sprint showdown with Noah Lyles, Sergey Shubenkov pipped Andrew Pozzi in the sprint hurdles and six athletes went sub-13 minutes in the 5000m, led by Telahun Haile Bekele with a world-leading PB of 12:52.98.

Muir’s 3:56.73 to finish as 1500m runner-up behind world record-holder Dibaba’s 3:56.28 is her second-fastest ever time behind her British record 3:55.22 and was even more impressive considering the Scot almost tripped and lost 10 metres early on.

She recovered to pose a real challenge but Dibaba held on to clock her quickest time since her world record 3:50.07 in 2015.

Dibaba’s fellow Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegaye was third in 3:59.96 and USA’s Jenny Simpson fourth in 4:01.18, while Muir’s fellow Scot Eilish McColgan ran 4:02.29 in sixth for her third-quickest time ever.

“I’m really happy,” said Muir. “To run 3:56, it’s my second-fastest time ever, my fastest time in three years, so really pleased with that. Got a bit of a scrappy start but I just kept my cool. I almost had it at the end but not quite.”

While Muir suffered a stumble early on in her race, Asher-Smith set off with a storming start to her first 100m of the year but Thompson triumphed after passing her in the closing stages and clocking a world-leading 10.89 (+0.6m/sec) to Asher-Smith’s 10.94.

Shanghai 100m winner Aleia Hobbs was third in 11.12.

“I’m a bit frustrated to have come second because the competitor in me, every single time I step on the line, I want to win,” said Asher-Smith, who won the Stockholm 200m in 22.18 ahead of Thompson. “But at the same time I opened with a 10.94 which is very quick for an opener.”

The men’s 200m saw Lyles suffer his first Diamond League 200m defeat, as 400m specialist Norman blasted out of the blocks and to a world-leading meeting record PB of 19.70 (+0.7m/sec) to beat his fellow American’s 19.72.

World champion Ramil Guliyev was fourth in 20.35, while Britain’s world relay champion Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake was eighth in 20.68.

Pozzi also had a strong start in the 110m hurdles but was narrowly beaten by Shubenkov – 13.26 to 13.29 – as he knocked a barrier.

“It was a good run,” said the world indoor champion. “I felt a lot sharper than I have. Really frustrated I hit hurdle nine because actually I was going really well. I think that cost me the win and a good time.”

The pace was rapid as the men’s 5000m got going, too, with defending Diamond League champion Selemon Barega leading through 1000m in 2:32.90 before passing 2000m in 5:08.57 and 3000m in 7:45.50. Abadi Hadis was to the fore at 4000m in 10:25.27 but it was Bekele who had the strength to pull away and run a world-leading PB of 12:52.98 to win ahead of Barega with 12:53:04.

Hadis finished fifth, while Britain’s Andrew Butchart continued his return to top form by clocking his second-best ever time with 13:09.33 in eighth.

Another Briton to impress was European fifth-placer Zak Seddon as he achieved the quickest British 3000m steeplechase performance for 25 years with his PB of 8:21.28, a world and Olympic qualifying mark which moves him from 23rd to ninth on the UK all-time list.

That time saw him place 12th in a race won by Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen in a 8:06.13 PB and world lead.

A world-leading PB of 7.07m secured long jump victory for Malaika Mihambo as she beat Caterine Ibargüen with 6.87m, while Shara Proctor was ninth with 6.30m and Lorraine Ugen 12th with 6.23m. Omar Craddock won the triple jump with a best of 17.50m to narrowly beat Pedro Pablo Pichardo with 17.47m.

Konrad Bukowiecki broke the meeting record with his PB of 21.97m to win the shot put, while Lyu Huihui won the javelin with her 66.47m throw.

There was a clear win by Salwa Eid Naser in the 400m as she clocked 50.26 to Shericka Jackson’s 51.05, while a close men’s 800m saw Donavan Brazier dip to a narrow victory ahead of Nijel Amos – a 1:43.63 world lead to 1:43.65.

Dalilah Muhammad continued her winning ways with a time of 53.67 for 400m hurdles victory ahead of Shamier Little with 54.40, while the men’s non-Diamond League race was won dominantly by Rai Benjamin in 47.58 ahead of David Kendziera’s 48.99.

Angelica Bengtsson cleared a Swedish record of 4.76m to win the pole vault ahead of world indoor champion Sandi Morris and Robeilys Peinado with 4.66m, while 2013 world champion Bohdan Bondarenko continued his return to the top by clearing an equal world lead of 2.31m to win the high jump as home favourite Gianmarco Tamberi was fourth with 2.28m.

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