Jenny Meadows has made up for some of the disappointment of Daegu a week ago as she came a sound third in 1:58.92 in a packed high quality field over 800m in Zurich to claim top place in the overall standings of the event in the Diamond League series, earning herself a well-deserved precious stone for her efforts round the season.

Again, it can be argued that the Briton may have gone through a little too fast splits at 200 and 400m, slightly behind pacemaker Liliya Lobanova (UKR) in 56.83 secs, that eventually dented her chances of winning the affair as she ran short of any response towards the end. New world champion Mariya Savinova (RUS) measured her effort well round the first lap, just as she did in Daegu, to  come strong through the field in trademark fashion in the late stages and clinch the race in 1:58.27, with always enterprising American Alysia Montano (nee Johnson) holding on to second in 1:58.41.

But the end justifies the means since the main objective was fulfilled, with pre-race standings leader Kenia Sinclair (JAM) falling well off the pace, and Jenny was proudly presenting her new asset all smiles after the race.


A reshuffled British 4x100m relay side nearly snatched an unlikely win as reinstated anchor man Mark Lewis-Francis was narrowly pipped by the superior footwork of new global champion Yohan Blake in the final strides, crossing the line in 38:35 to Jamaica’s 38.29 secs for an encouraging performance. Harry Aikines-Ayreety shifted back on the lead-off and James Ellington, also overlooked in Daegu, came in on the back straight to provide more shape and cohesion to the team as Marlon Devonish linked up with Lewis-Francis in a smooth and slick way out in front reminiscent of Britain’s epic triumph in the Olympics in Athens in 2004. Perhaps selectors will take notice and come up with the right formation and combinations in their next major tournament.


A revamped British quartet slightly misses out on win against a strong Jamaican side in the 4x100m

All four sprinters had been in individual action in the pre-program races and Ellington enjoyed a moment of glory as he edged out Pole Pawel Stempel to take the A race in 10.40 to 10.43 secs (-0.2m/sec) while Aikines-Ayreety came fourth in a harder second heat in 10.31 (-0.8m/sec), with Devonish a place behind in 10.33 and Lewis-Francis seventh in 10.36 secs as a sharpener.

Goldie Sayers had to endure very much the same nightmare as in Daegu a week earlier but this time round she ground out a fifth round 62.25m to save the day by way of a fifth place in yet another scintillating javelin encounter that ranged in high territories but displayed a different set of leading characters. After mysteriously faltering in yet another major final, Christina Obergfoll (GER) was back to her very best to gain a commanding lead from early on due to a second attempt 68.95m and come under relative pressure only in the late stages, which surprisingly materialized from neither Maria Abakumova (RUS) nor Barbora Spotakova (CZE) who spent a rather quiet evening.

It was world bronze medalist Sunette Viljoen (RSA) who grew in confidence as the competition moved on to pull together an excellent late series of 66.96, 67.46 and 67.22m, her best ever, for a comprehensive second place but could not eventually shake the German at the top, who saved a big SB and meeting record of 69.57m when the affair was over as a contest to wrap up a classy display in style. With the top four markers appearing to be drawing away into the high 60s-low 70s, Goldie may need to claw her way into the 65m and knock a chunck off the gap before the season goes out – it’s going to be important to head into the winter in a more advanced position on her major rivals.


Kirani James (GRN) pulls away from Lashawn Merritt (USA) down the home straight for a convincing victory in a new national record of 44.36 secs over 400m, getting the better of the American for a second time on the trot

Martyn Rooney produced maybe his most assured run of a shaky season to come sixth in 45.63 secs from a tight inside lane in an upgraded version of the 400m final in Korea that saw teen prodigy Kirani James (GRN) pull away from Olympic champion Lashawn Merritt (USA) in similar fashion down the home straight to a new national record of 44.36 secs, second fastest time in history by an U20 behind Steve Lewis‘s 43.87 secs in winning gold in the Seoul Olympics in distant 1988. Merritt was comprehensively beaten into runner-up for a second time on the bounce by the youngster in 44.67 secs and will have a lot to ponder heading into his winter training after the end of the track season while Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzales finished a distant third in 45.39 secs.


World bronze medalist Andy Turner was fifth in 13.41 (0.1m/sec) as the men’s sprint hurdles turned into a duel between Dayron Robles and season’s surprise package Jason Richardson (USA) from the off, the more experienced Cuban holding his form and a slight lead from hurdle one nicely through the race in his flawless hurdling to claim the spoils in a SB of 13.01 secs. The latter, new world champion in the event, came runner-up in a fast 13.10 secs followed on by last summer’s overwhelming number one David Oliver (USA) in 13.26 secs, possibly already setting his sights on next summer. Twice global finalist William Sharman trailed a long way back in 14.12 secs.


Dayron Robles wins from Jason Richardson in a SB of 13.01 secs in the 100m hurdles

A rather tired Daegu finalist Helen Clitheroe finished towards the back of the field of the women’s 5000m in 15:29.85 as the Kenyan girls totally dominated as has been a familiar sight this summer to occupy the top five places, in hot form Vivian Cheruiyot holding off Sally Kipiego to extend her superb unbeaten run in a meeting record of 14:30.10 to the latter’s PB of 14:30.42. That was a signing off the track season for the Brit who will be running the Great North Run before she swings into the winter.


Beyond British interest in Zurich, an invincible Sally Pearson (AUS) demolished yet another quality field nonchalantly to win over 100m hurdles in 12.52 secs (0.2m/sec) from Olympic champion Dawn Harper (12.81) and Daegu finalist Phylisia George (CAN, 12.84), Carmelita Jeter making mo mistakes around to reel in an aggressive early Allyson Felix down the home stretch for a convincing win in 22.27 against 22.40 secs (-0.1m/sec) in the 200m.

Yohan Blake (JAM) breezed off to a comfortable victory over former world record holder Asafa Powell in a PB of 9.82 secs to 9.95 secs in totally still conditions and Jenn Suhr pulled off a dramatic turnround of fortunes to swing from fourth, needing all three attempts to better 4.62m, to a first-time 4.72m clearance to snatch victory on countdown from Sielge Spiegelburg (GER) in the women’s pole vault. Yelena Isinbayeva was third at 4.62m whereas Daegu silver medalist Martina Strutz (GER) failed to register a single height.

Dimitris Hondrokoukis became the first Greek athlete to win at a Diamond League meeting as he equalled his PB of 2.32m for a second time this term to upset the likes of world champion Jesse Williams (USA), fourth at 2.28m, while Valerie Adams (NZL) turned a champion’s response to deny Nadezdha Ostapchuk even a consolation victory as she stepped into the ring to overturn the Belarusian’s momentary lead of 20.48m towards the end of the fifth round by planting the shot at 20.51m straight off and retain her unbeaten record this season.

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