LONDON (July 23) — The Diamond League event in London featured impressive performances from top athletes like Marie-Josee Ta Lou, Noah Lyles, and Femke Bol ahead of the world championships in Budapest next month.
Marie-Josee Ta Lou Continues Diamond League Win Streak In London
Ta Lou, a 34-year-old sprinter from Ivory Coast, showcased her exceptional speed in the women’s 100 meters. She achieved another Diamond League triumph with a remarkable time of 10.75 seconds. Although Dina Asher-Smith from Britain had a powerful start, Ta Lou surpassed her, and Asher-Smith had to settle for second place with a time of 10.85 seconds.
Jamaican Shericka Jackson, visibly easing down over the closing meters of the race, crossed the line third in 10.94 seconds.
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Ta Lou, who has already claimed three Diamond League wins this season, acknowledged the need for further improvement in her start to secure gold in Budapest.
“I hope to go back and train even harder for Budapest because I know it will take more to win there, so I’ll just fix up on a few small things,” she said.
“I know my finish is strong but my start could be better and I need to improve it to make sure I can achieve my goal of winning gold.”
Noah Lyles Shows World Championships Form
In the men’s 200 meters, American two-time world champion Noah Lyles also delivered a stellar performance, clocking the fastest time in the world this year at 19.47 seconds.
Lyles’ late injection of pace over the final 60 meters saw him pull away from the field and secure his victory, with Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo setting an African record with his second-place finish in 19.50 seconds.
Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, who recently set a national record in the 100m, finished third, setting a new British 200m record with 19.73 seconds.
Lyles said after his impressive victory that he is ready to defend his world title next month, noting that the half-lap event “is my wife.”
Rampant Femke Bol Destroys Diamond League Record
Dutch athlete Femke Bol set a new European record in the women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 51.45 seconds, the second-fastest time ever recorded in this event.
Bol, who finished second and third behind American world record holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone at last year’s world championship and Tokyo Olympics, respectively, is now eyeing the global gold in Budapest.
“I’ve been wanting to run a 51 ever since Tokyo, I had a feeling I could do it, but I still can’t believe I’ve done it,” Bol said.
Other London Diamond League News and Results
Other notable performances on the track included Kenyan Jackline Chepkoech’s personal best of 8:57.35 in the 3,000m steeplechase, while world champion Gudaf Tsegay defeated Olympic champion Sifan Hassan in the women’s 5000m with a PB and UK all-comers’ record of 14:12.29.
USA’s two-time world champion Grant Holloway won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.01 seconds, South Africa’s world record holder Wayde van Niekerk narrowly won the 400 meters with a time of 44.36 seconds, while another American, Yared Nuguse, ran an impressive 3:30.44 to defeat a very competitive men’s 1500m and set a new stadium record.
“Physically I’m ticking all the right boxes, so hopefully, I can just use this for myself as a reference moving forward to just constantly improve and grow,” said Van Niekerk. “Then, when I get to Budapest, I can compete for medals.”
Meanwhile, in the absence of World and Olympic silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson, the entrance was unlocked for fellow Briton Jemma Reekie to secure a prevalent win on home soil, clocking a season’s best of 1:57.30 to set her second-fastest time ever and bettered the meeting record.
In field events, World and Olympic champion Ryan Crouser of the USA continued his remarkable form this year, smashing the UK all-comers’ record in the men’s shot put with 23.07m.
“I felt my performance was very consistent today – the fifth round was my best throw and a really good indicator for the World Champs which will be my next competition,” Crouser said.
Fellow countryman JuVaughn Harrison cleared 2.35m to pick up a big-time victory in the high jump over the Olympic champion Mutaz Barshim, while Olympic champion Daniel Stahl took the discus victory with 67.03m.
“I felt good coming into the competition, and it was fun to battle with Essa (Mutaz Barshim),” said Harrison. “He’s a great competitor.
“My hopes are to win in Budapest and get a PB which I feel confident that I can do it because I’m having a great season.”
The Diamond League meeting in London, which saw the largest crowd in five years, served as the final meeting before the world championships in Budapest next month.
The performances of the leading athletes this weekend have set the stage for what is anticipated to be an intense competition at the global event.
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