Hampden Roars At Sainsbury’S Glasgow Grand Prix

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Newly crowned British 200m champion Jodie Williams (coach: Christine Bowmaker) showed she’s got what it takes to perform on the world stage as she set a new personal best of 22.60 to finish a highly credible fourth on day two (12 July) of the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

The U23 European champion faced a star line up at Hampden Park including Diamond Race leader and World bronze medallist Blessing Okagbare from Nigeria, Olympic champion Allyson Felix from the USA, and World heptathlon bronze medallist Dafne Schippers from the Netherlands.

“It is a massive personal best – I’m just over the moon. I knew I had it in me,” said Williams.

“It’s really encouraging going into the Commonwealth Games and the Europeans – I couldn’t have asked for more. Obviously looking at the line-up and seeing those names was a bit of a surprise but when I saw I was in the mix coming around the bend, I just thought, ‘you can do this Jodie’. I felt at home racing against these girls which is a really incredible feeling.”

Schippers crossed the line in first place, adding to her victory in yesterday’s 100m ‘B’ race with a new national record of 22.34.

All four British athletes in the men’s 1,500m clocked new personal bests as Kenya’s Silas Kiplagat, second fastest in the world this year, secured victory after a thrilling race to the line.

Edinburgh athlete Chris O’Hare (Steve Gulley) was the first of the Britons home in 3:35.06, with fellow Scot Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) next on 3:35.49. British champion Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg) clocked 3:35.59 in ninth, with Tom Farrell (Dave Smith) managing 3:37.90.

“It’s been a really tough few weeks with hamstring issues,” said O’Hare. “To do a personal best at Hampden is just amazing. When you have four or five Africans in the field, it is set up for us to achieve personal bests. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll just keep everything normal in the run up to the Games.”

Matthew Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley) ran a terrific 400m to become the second fastest British teenager ever over one lap, powering home in the closing stages of the race to record a new personal best – his first sub 45 seconds – to clinch third place behind Botswana’s Isaac Makwala and Christopher Brown from the Bahamas.

The 19-year-old stopped the clock at 44.97, and was understandably delighted with his performance.

“That was absolutely unbelievable, I’ve no idea where that came from, no idea at all. I’m in a state of complete disbelief. I ran a complete race and it felt amazing. It was a strong field and I could feel them pulling me along.

“I don’t know if it’s a breakthrough or not but I know I can run even faster. The first thing I’m going to do is ring my Mum. I don’t know if she was watching but if she was, she’ll be in a state of disbelief, too.”

Martyn Rooney (Rana Reider) – who had looked in contention as they raced round the final bend – finished in fifth, whilst Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) managed a season’s best 45.46 one place behind.

In the men’s 800m, Kenya’s Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha dominated the field as he took on the race with 400m to go, crossing the line with a world lead 1:43.34, and British champion Michael Rimmer (Jon Bigg) also impressed with a sprint to the line to secure third place with a season’s best 1:45.89. There was a season’s best too for Mukhtar Mohammed (Bigg).

Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark) was the first of the Britons home in the hotly contested women’s 800m, finishing third in 2:00.01. Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) was an early leader, but it was Ajee Wilson from the US who got to the line first, with a photo finish separating the rest of the pack.

Alison Leonard (Bud Baldaro) set a new personal best 2:00.08 for fifth place, with European champion Lynsey Sharp (Reider) given the same time one place further back. Meadows also managed a season’s best 2:00.32, as did Laura Muir (Andy Young) with 2:02.92.

US hurdler Queen Harrison takes the lead in the 100m hurdles Diamond Race after notching up her second Diamond race win, whilst Tiffany Porter (Reider) just missed out on the points as she finished in fourth place with 12.88.

In a thrilling women’s 3,000m steeplechase, Hiwot Ayalew scored maximum Diamond League points after a terrific sprint home, beating US athlete Emma Coburn to the line.
Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan-Nuttall) clocked a season’s best 9:44.69, agonisingly close to the 9:43.00 standard required for the European Championships in Zurich next month, with fellow Scot Lennie Waite clocking 9:54.62.

“To be honest, I couldn’t be anymore devastated,” said McColgan. “After all the injuries I have had, I should be happy but I’m absolutely gutted to miss the European qualifying standard by two seconds. I know it’s there but I lost confidence a bit today.

“It is teaching me that maybe I should be up near the front at the very start. I’ve worked so hard to get here and I’m not usually emotional but I could have cried at the end.”

Double World and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft (Jennifer Banks) continued her domination of the women’s T34 100m as she raced to a convincing victory, crossing the line in 18.06.

The 21-year-old, who bettered her own world record clocking 17.31 in Switzerland in May, heads to the IPC European Championships next month as one of Great Britain’s chief medal hopes, and believes she is capable of much better.

“I’m disappointed with the time – it’s the slowest 100m I’ve done this season,” she said. “Considering I’ve done 40 races so far this season that was a pretty bad do.

“I’ve been tired after races, it’s been a busy few months with University and racing every weekend, and a lot of travelling is involved so I’ve got to balance the lifestyle correctly.”

The men’s 100m T44 more than lived up to expectations as Great Britain’s Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge) battled to the line against US world record holder Richard Browne.

With a great start out the blocks, Peacock had the edge on the American, but with 40m remaining Browne pushed hard and dipped over the line to win with a season’s best 10.96.

Peacock, who also clocked a season’s best one hundredth of a second behind, can’t wait for the pair to go head-to-head in London in a week’s time at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.

“Today was a great competition and it was great to come down and compete in such a cool stadium and one that is going to be used for the Commonwealth Games.

“Congratulations to Richard Browne for beating me. Hopefully next weekend at the Anniversary Games, I’ll be able to take that back. It’s always great to race him, we’ve got a really great rivalry and it brings out the best in both of us,” he said.

Paralympic silver medallist and Scotland’s Commonwealth Games hopeful Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) was the best of the Brits in the women’s 100m T11-13, clocking a season’s best 12.40 for third place.

And there was a win for the GB & NI men’s ‘A’ team in the 4x100m, with the quartet of Richard Kilty (Reider), Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Reider), James Ellington (Reider) and Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins) storming home in 38.39, with the Netherlands in second and an ‘All Stars’ quartet in third.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye underlined her place at the top of the world rankings as she stormed home to win the women’s 100m in 11.01, with Jamaica’s World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce clocking a season’s best 11.10 in second. The world class field proved too much for Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka) and Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker) who finished eighth and ninth respectively.

In the women’s pole vault, British champion Sally Peake (Scott Simpson) bettered her own outdoor personal best by 5cm, clearing 4.40m in a competition won by Brazil’s Fabiana Murer, whilst Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed) cleared 1.89m in the women’s high jump which was won by Diamond Race leader and former World champion Blanka Vlasic.

In the long jump, JJ Jegede only managed to register one legal jump, reaching 7.71m on his third attempt as Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) had to withdraw after injury concerns during warm-up. And in the triple jump Julian Reid (Aston Moore) managed a best of 16.03m.