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DIAMOND LEAGUE

SPORT

Aman eclipses Rudisha as Bolt and Blake coast

Jamaican sprint duo Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake dominated the 100 and 200m at the Diamond League meet in Zurich on Thursday, but Kenyan 800m star David Rudisha was upstaged by Ethiopian novice Mohammed Aman.

Aman eclipses Rudisha as Bolt and Blake coast
Mohammed Aman celebrates victory at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul earlier this year (Photo: Erik van Leeuwen, erki.nl).

In a high-quality night of action featuring 14 Olympic champions, training partners Bolt and Blake set new meeting records of 19.66 and 9.76 seconds in the 200 and 100m respectively.

Fresh from his second successive triple gold haul at the Olympics, Bolt came around the bend into the final stretch just ahead of compatriot Nickel
Ashmeade on his inside.

And then the imposing 26-year-old, also the world record holder in both sprint events, switched on the afterburners in his drive phase to ensure a
comfortable win in his favoured event.

"Running after the Olympics is much more fun, it is less stress," said Bolt. "Now I have one more race (in Brussels on September 7th) until the end of the season and I am looking forward to it.

"During the season, you push yourself a lot and it's only at the end that you realize how tired you are."

Blake overcame a false start by top US sprinter Tyson Gay to hold his nerve in a 100m raced in chilly, wet conditions at a packed Letzigrund Stadium.

The 22-year-old, who won double sprint silver behind Bolt in the London Games and is currently the second fastest man in the world alongside Gay
(after racing 9.69sec in Lausanne last week), rocketed out of his blocks at the second time of asking to power through the line.

Compatriot Nesta Carter was second in 9.95sec, with American Ryan Bailey (9.97) in third.

"I am not at all surprised that after the Olympics I am coming out so strong and so fast. It's because my coach has a plan for me," said Blake of
Glen Mills, who also coaches Bolt.

"Next year I can be even better," he warned.

But there was disappointment for Rudisha, the blazing two-lap specialist who was bidding to better his own world record of 1min 40.91sec he set when winning 800m gold at the London Games earlier this month.

With all talk of the record bid, no one had counted on the kick of 18-year-old Aman, who finished sixth at the Olympics but who importantly last
year became the first and last man to defeat Rudisha since 2009.

Rudisha's pacemaker missed his first lap target by more than 1sec, and with any chance of a world record completely out of the window, the 23-year-old Kenyan world champion found himself in front but in a real dogfight with Aman, who kicked as the duo rounded the last bend.

Aman held on for a convincing win in a personal best of 1:42.53, with Rudisha timing 1:42.81.

"The race was good, really," a magnanimous Rudisha said. "The race was fast and the winner achieved a 1:42.5 time and new personal best.

"My legs felt tired and I cannot run well if the weather is not good."

Aman left his Kenyan rival in no doubt that it would not be all plain sailing for him in the two-lap race next season.

"This was the final Diamond League race and therefore a strong one," Aman said. "I am very happy and hopefully next year I will beat the world record."

One Olympic champion to also shine was Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who rebounded from two successive losses to Carmelita Jeter in Lausanne and Birmingham to easily trump the American in the women's 100m in 10.83sec.

Jeter clocked 10.97sec with teammate and 200m specialist Allyson Felix finishing third (11.02).

Other London champions to win were France's Renaud Lavillenie in the men's pole vault (5.70m), Croat Sandra Perkovic in the women's discus (63.97m), American Sanya Richards-Ross in the women's 400m (50.21sec) and Russian Ivan Ukhov in the men's high jump (2.31m).

But American Christian Taylor (triple jump) and Felix Sanchez (400m hurdles) were both eclipsed by veterans, Italy's Fabrizio Donato (17.29m) and
American Angelo Taylor (48.29sec) respectively.

And American Brittney Reese could only finish ninth in the women's long jump, retiring after aggravating a stress fracture in her ankle.

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SPORT

IN PICTURES: Runners take on Swiss glacier race despite melt

Hundreds of runners braved a lung-busting ascent into the Alps in Switzerland's Glacier 3000 Run on Saturday, albeit on a shortened course due to summer heatwaves melting the ice.

IN PICTURES: Runners take on Swiss glacier race despite melt

The event’s 14th edition was back without limitations after being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 and run in 2021 with restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

The race is normally run over 26.2 kilometres but was contested on a slightly modified 25.2km course this year due to the glacier melting, with the last pass over its surface shortened.

Runners make their way under a ski lift  on the glacier run in Switzerland

Runners make their way under a ski lift during the last kilometres of the Glacier 3000 run. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP)

“The accelerated melting of the top layer of the glacier has created a camber and a soft layer which the runner sinks into,” said race director Oliver Hermann.

“Rather than intervening to flatten the track, we preferred to deviate the course.”

Runners on last stretch of Switzerland's glacier run

On the final stretch of this year’s shortened course. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP)

The finish line is 1,886 metres higher than the start, at nearly 3,000 metres up in the mountains by the Scex Rouge peak.

READ ALSO: Heatwaves close off classic Swiss and Italian Alpine hiking routes

The route begins in the jet-set ski resort town of Gstaad, at 1,050 metres above sea level.

It passes through forests, green mountain pastures before heading into rocky lunar-like landscapes and taking in the Tsanfleuron Glacier.

The course follows the Saane river upstream for 15 km before climbing up 1,800 metres over the remaining 10 km to the finish line — at an altitude of 2,936 metres.

A couple hold their hands while walking on the melting Tsanfleuron Glacier above Les Diablerets

A couple hold hands while walking on the melting Tsanfleuron Glacier above Les Diablerets, where the Glacier 3000 Run took place on August 6th. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP)

Some 311 men and 98 women completed the individual course, while 50 two-person teams also took part.

READ ALSO: Why Switzerland’s glaciers are melting faster than usual this summer

The first man to finish was Kenyan competitor Geoffrey Ndungu in two hours and 17 minutes. He had finished in second place last year.

He was followed by compatriot Abraham Ebenyo Ekwam in 2:21 and then Switzerland’s Jonathan Schmid in 2:23.

Victoria Kreuzer was the first woman to finish, in 2:46, ahead of Nicole Schindler and Pascale Rebsamen — a Swiss clean sweep.

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