Two world leads, a world best and a meeting record in the women’s mile were the highlights of the track programme at the Müller Anniversary Games at the London Stadium this afternoon where some 35,000 fans, including IAAF President Sebastian Coe, were treated to some scintillating action just few weeks ahead of the IAAF World Championships here next month.
The ninth IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season featured 17 Olympic champions with many of the world’s best seeking much-needed points of the road to the final.
But it wasn’t just current Olympic medallists who grabbed the attention for the programme was briefly interrupted to allow Great Britain’s 2008 Olympic 4x400m relay squad to receive their much-delayed bronze medals following subsequent doping disqualifications.
That was all about correcting the past. As for the present, let’s start with the women’s mile in which Hellen Obiri upstaged Laura Muir’s attempt to break the British record by out-battling the Scot on home straight to break her own national best and set a meeting record of 4:16.56.
Only Genzebe Dibaba has run faster than that time this millennium while Obiri moves above Mary Slaney on the world all-time list having eclipsed Faith Kipyegon as the fastest Kenyan ever.
Jenny Meadows took the field through the first two laps a full one second ahead of schedule in 2:07.27 before Muir was left alone with Obiri on her tail. They went through the bell in 3:12.28 before a battle royal ensued between the pair over the final circuit.
As the Kenyan pulled clear to triumph, Muir was left to rue the speedy early pace as she slipped out of contention to clock 4:18.03, missing Zola Budd’s British best by just six tenths.
Winny Chebet was third while there was a Polish record of 4:19.55 for Angelika Cichoka in fourth. With the top five athletes finishing within 4:20 and best marks-for-place being set from fourth to 14th, it was the deepest women’s mile race in history.
There were no records in the men’s 800m but Nijel Amos leapt to the top of the world leaderboard as he brought back memories of the 2012 Olympic final where he chased world record-setting David Rudisha to the line for a world U20 record of 1:41.73.
He wasn’t quite that quick this afternoon, but Amos adopted Rudisha-like tactics as he followed pacemaker Bram Som through half way in 49.58 and held off the field into the home straight.
From there, it was all about Amos and his head-back, chest-out style, which saw him home in 1:43.18, his quickest time since 2015.
Behind him, there was a flurry of fast-finishers as US champion Donavan Brazier went sub-1:44 for the first time this year with 1:43.95. That was enough to hold off Kenya’s triple world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop - BY IAAF