ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND, September 08 — Among running events the 5000 was contested downtown on the first day of the Weltklasse meet. Here are our reports on the other 8 men’s track events:
Men’s 100: It’s Bromell All The Way
With only a pair of entrants from the yearly top 10 list and just 3 of the World Champs finalists, expectations were tempered for the men’s dash. Trayvon Bromell, the Eugene bronze medalist, came in as the favorite and did not disappoint.
Positioned in lane 5 with 32-year-old Jamaican vet Yohan Blake to his left, Bromell got out perfectly and stayed in front for every stride, crossing in 9.94 with a slight (0.3) headwind.
The battle for 2nd proved far more contentious, as Blake, in 2nd, stayed a half-step ahead of Akani Simbine the entire way, then Aaron Brown’s fast finish on the outside of track put him between the two. It was Blake 10.05, Brown 10.06, Simbine 10.07.
“This was very important to me today as I did not win the gold in Eugene,” said Bromell, 27. “This is one of the most important races. I go out with a smile and ready for the next year. I just see myself already on the plane home, ready to start my vacations.
“Today, I knew I had a good start. This was definitely a motivation for the next season. I gained trust in myself, trust in my training and I want to think how I could be a better athlete, better performer.”
(wind –0.3): 1. Trayvon Bromell (US) 9.94; 2. Yohan Blake (Jam) 10.05; 3. Aaron Brown (Can) 10.06; 4. Akani Simbine (SA) 10.07; 5. Yupun Abeykoon (SrL) 10.14; 6. Reece Prescod (GB) 10.16; 7. Kyree King (US) 10.18; 8. Andre De Grasse (Can) 10.21.
Men’s 200: Another Brilliant Race From Lyles
In a perfect undefeated season, Noah Lyles maintained his speed from beginning to end, capturing the Diamond Trophy in race that illustrated just how hard it is to run fresh in September.
In the meet’s final event Lyles started from lane 6, surrounded by familiar company, Erriyon Knighton in 5 and Kenneth Bednarek in 7. Not that the other lanes mattered much. At 25, Lyles is now in a class of his own, and the race he ran showed to what extent he is functioning on a different plane than his competitors.
A lightning start proved that Lyles had big hopes for the next 19+ seconds. He blistered the curve, coming out on the straight with a solid lead. And then he lifted and left the field even farther behind, pulling away with an urgency that had fans trying to watch the clock and the world champion at the same time.
He crossed in a meet record 19.52, a commendable performance into a -0.6 headwind. In fact, only once has someone run faster with a bigger headwind. That was Usain Bolt running a 19.30 World Record into an 0.9 at the Beijing Olympics.
Behind Lyles, Canadian Aaron Brown (20.02) and Dominican Republic’s Alexander Ogando (also 20.02) finished next. Showing the effects of a long, hard season, the remaining Americans followed: Knighton (20.20) just edging Bednarek (also 20.20).
“It has been an amazing season,” said Lyles, “my best season ever. And that is exactly what I was set to do this year. No pressure, just have got to enjoy it and let it happen.”
(wind –0.6): 1. Noah Lyles (US) 19.52 (x, =12 W; x, =6 A);
2. Aaron Brown (Can) 20.02; 3. Alexander Ogando (DR) 20.02; 4. Erriyon Knighton (US) 20.20; 5. Kenny Bednarek (US) 20.20; 6. Andre De Grasse (Can) 20.43; 7. Jereem Richards (Tri) 20.56; 8. Eseosa Desalu (Ita) 20.79.
Men’s 400: James Back On Top
Previously the champion in ’11 and ’15, Kirani James captured the Diamond Trophy for a record-equaling third time (LaShawn Merritt won in ’13, ’14, & ’16).
His victory, in 44.26 from late-charging Bryce Deadmon’s seasonal best 44.47 and Vernon Norwood’s 44.66, kept the 30-year-old Grenadan undefeated in ’22 by anybody not named Michael Norman.
Norman was absent, having ended his season after racing 200 in Lausanne, and Euro champ Matthew Hudson-Smith withdrew late after reportedly injuring himself during warmups.
Starting in lane 4 with Deadmon to his inside in 3 and Norwood in sight out in lane 6, James pushed out hard in the first half, as did Norwood and Zakithi Nene in corridor 7.
James led at 200 in 21.0 from Norwood (21.2) and South African Nene (21.4), a 24-year-old novice on the DL circuit.
Weathering aggressive running around the curve by Norwood, James drove hard into the homestraight leading by about a meter. Holding form down the stretch, he crossed a meter and a half ahead of Deadmon, who showed impressive late-season strength in the final 100 after recent wins in Lucerne and Padua.
Said the ebullient James, “I have one more meeting coming. I try to enjoy every moment and to represent my country. It is special for me to win here today after 11 years when I also won in Zürich” — as an Auburn soph.
1. Kirani James (Grn) 44.26; 2. Bryce Deadmon (US) 44.47; 3. Vernon Norwood (US) 44.66; 4. Zakithi Nene (SA) 44.74 PR; 5. Ricky Petrucciani (Swi) 45.31; 6. Isaac Makwala (Bot) 45.56; 7. Liemarvin Bonevacia (Neth) 45.84;… dnc—Matthew Hudson-Smith (GB).
Non-DL 400: 1. Wayde van Niekerk (SA) 44.39 (fastest since ’17); 2. Wil London (US) 44.78.
Men’s 800: Korir’s Speed Pays Off
Few halfmilers ever have been able to claim low-44 speed in the 400. Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir is one of those who does and it showed in the homestretch of the 800 here.
Polish rabbit Patryk Sieradzki towed the field through a 24.4 first 200, then 50.41 at halfway. World/Olympic champ Korir was content to run near the back of the pack, a second behind.
Closest to the hare was France’s Gabriel Tual (50.9), with Jake Wightman (51.1), Marco Arop (51.3) and Wycliffe Kinyamal (51.3) next in the queue.
As Sieradzki peeled off at the 500 point the pack began to string out, with the tall Arop shooting down the backstretch to move from 5th to the lead at 600 in 1:16.8. Korir was 5th at 1:17.4 but accelerating smoothly.
Around the curve they came, Arop having a half-second edge on Kinyamal with 100m to go. Wightman was just 0.1 behind with Korir on his shoulder. As they headed into the homestretch Korir began to pump his arms furiously, quickly overtaking Wightman and Kinyamal. Head bobbing, Korir tagged Arop some 3m from the line and pulled away for a world-leading 1:43.26–1:43.38 win.
“The last few meters were very tough,” said Korir. “I never expected it to be this tough, but I did it. I was still behind in the last 200m; maybe the first 600 were a bit too slow, so I had to push it hoping I could finish 2nd or 3rd. I managed to come 1st in the end though.”
With previous wins in ’18 and ’21, the 27-year-old Korir joined Nijel Amos (’14, ’15, ’17) as a 3-time champ.
1. Emmanuel Korir (Ken) 1:43.26 (WL) (51.4/51.9);
2. Marco Arop (Can) 1:43.38 (51.3/52.1); 3. Jake Wightman (GB) 1:44.10 (51.1/53.0) (1:16.8); 4. Wycliffe Kinyamal (Ken) 1:44.47; 5. Bryce Hoppel (US) 1:44.77; 6. Andreas Kramer (Swe) 1:44.94; 7. Gabriel Tual (Fra) 1:45.25; 8. Benjamin Robert (Fra) 1:48.11;… rabbit—Patryk Sieradzki (Pol) (50.41).
Men’s 1500: Ingebrigtsen Ends Cheruiyot Streak
Runner-up last year to Timothy Cheruiyot, Jakob Ingebrigtsen came to Zürich stronger — as well as more frustrated — in a season that saw him win every important race except the one he wanted most, the WC 1500 final.
Here he made his race plan no secret: he was going to go with a fast rabbit and then try to outrun everybody else. And so it went.
Pacemaker Matthew Ramsden went out in 54.19, then slowed to 57.22 to pass 800 in 1:51.41. Signed on to do 1000, the Aussie ran wide at 900 and indicated to Ingebrigtsen that he was shot. The Norwegian didn’t hesitate to take over. He passed the bell in 2:34.1 with Cheruiyot a couple of steps behind and Josh Kerr moving into 3rd.
The big gap opened up with 200 to go when it was clear no one could challenge the 21-year-old. Cheruiyot, winner of the 4 previous DL Trophies, lost ground, Kerr faded on the backstretch and Abel Kipsang made a bid on the turn before falling back.
No one finished better than Ingebrigtsen’s 13.6, 27.1, 54.86 as he captured the title in a world-leading 3:29.02, just 0.70 shy of his PR. Cheruiyot held on for 2nd in 3:30.27 and Olli Hoare finished strongly with a 27.6/55.7 to grab 3rd in 3:30.59.
“It was amazing to run in a sold-out stadium,” said Ingebrigtsen. “I am happy with tonight, and also with the season overall. There are always things you can improve — like you can always run faster — but of course, I am happy. You can always get better, and I will try to do that.”
1. Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Nor) 3:29.02 (WL) (2:48.08);
2. Timothy Cheruiyot (Ken) 3:30.27; 3. Olli Hoare (Aus) 3:30.59; 4. Abel Kipsang (Ken) 3:31.36; 5. Stewart McSweyn (Aus) 3:31.45; 6. Josh Kerr (GB) 3:31.85; 7. Charles Grethen (Lux) 3:33.16; 8. Abdelatif Sadiki (Mor) 3:34.12; 9. Jake Heyward (GB) 3:34.27; 10. Michał Rozmys (Pol) 3:34.80;… rabbit—Matthew Ramsden (Aus) (54.19, 57.22 [1:51.41]).
Men’s Steeple: Fifth Time The Charm
With WC silver and bronze medalists Lamecha Girma and Conseslus Kipruto absent along with Benjamin Kigen, the last man to beat Soufiane El Bakkali (here at the ’21 DL Final), Morocco’s world and Olympic champion looked on paper to have an easy path toward his first Diamond Trophy ahead.
This time the paperwork was all in order, as El Bakkali moved ahead some 600m before the finish and pulled away to win in 8:07.67 from WC 4th-placer Getnet Wale (8:08.56) and Abraham Kibiwott (8:08.61).
Pacing for an 8:00-flat race (2:40 kilometers) was requested of two pacemakers, and they came close to delivering at the first kilo mark (2:40.3), but finding no takers among the racers, the tempo in the second K slipped to 2:47.5 (5:27.8).
Immediately thereafter El Bakkali drove easily up to the shoulder of leader Amos Serem. On the penultimate backstretch the lanky Moroccan forged ahead on his own. At the bell he led Kibiwot by a half-second and he opened that margin wider running his next 200 in 30.6.
But on the backstretch Wale, some 10m down to the leader, suddenly woke up and started a kick. It carried him past Kibiwot at the end of the straight and to within about 5m of El Bakkali, and then no closer as a 31.47 finish with the Moroccan waving his right arm at his pursuers and the fans put the winner 5m in front at the line.
“Now I am very satisfied that I finally got it,” said El Bakkali of the prize that had eluded him in four previous tries. “This year was amazing for me, winning the World Championships and now the Diamond race. What a wonderful season, I won so many races” — 5 finals in all, 4 DLs plus the Worlds.
1. Soufiane El Bakkali (Mor) 8:07.67; 2. Getnet Wale (Eth) 8:08.56; 3. Abraham Kibiwot (Ken) 8:08.61; 4. Ryuji Miura (Jpn) 8:12.65; 5. Leonard Bett (Ken) 8:13.21; 6. Amos Serem (Ken) 8:15.64; 7. Lawrence Kemboi (Ken) 8:17.98; 8. Hailemariyam Amare (Eth) 8:24.49;… rabbits—Abderrafia Bouassel (Mor) (2:40.32), Wilberforce Kones (Ken) (5:27.90).
Men’s 110H: Holloway Adds Another Honor
Grant Holloway won’t look back and say he had the perfect year, but he won everything that counted. The World champion indoors and out, he had never won the Diamond Trophy until his 13.02 victory here.
At the start, Holloway lined up in lane 6, with Jamaicans Hansle Parchment (5) and Rasheed Broadbell (7) on either side. Fellow American Trey Cunningham started in 4. With the wind blowing in their faces (1.0), Holloway rose to his set position after everyone else, as is his tendency. On the gun, he burst out in front, daring the field to catch him if they could.
Cunningham appeared to be his best competitor for the first half of the race. But at hurdle 6, the former Florida Stater somehow lost his rhythm and landed awkwardly. He had trouble regaining the flow and slipped back into the crowd.
As Holloway flew over the final hurdles to the finish, only one man moved faster: Broadbell, the latest addition to the sub-13 club. The Commonwealth Games champ — not even a finalist at the WC — came on with a rush and gave Holloway fans a scare before the line. But the American maintained his form and crossed in 13.02, safely ahead of Broadbell’s 13.06. Much farther back was Parchment in 3rd (13.26). Spain’s Asier Martínez (13.29) and Cunningham (13.30) crossed next.
Said the victor, “My start was good and I kept my composure all race through. This year was perfect for me, winning the triple: indoors, outdoors and the Diamond League Final. This was my first year in the Diamond League circuit, my first Diamond League Final. I did what I had to do.”
(wind –1.0): 1. Grant Holloway (US) 13.02; 2. Rasheed Broadbell (Jam) 13.06; 3. Hansle Parchment (Jam) 13.26; 4. Asier Martínez (Spa) 13.29; 5. Trey Cunningham (US) 13.30; 6. Jason Joseph (Swi) 13.54; 7. Damian Czykier (Pol) 13.65; 8. Just Kwaou-Mathey (Fra) 13.73; 9. Rafael Henrique Pereira (Bra) 13.73.
Men’s 400H: A Perfect Year For dos Santos
Undefeated in 8 previous finals this season, Alison dos Santos upped his total to 9 wins, 7 of them in Diamond League races. In doing so he hurdled to a meet record 46.98, his third sub-47 clocking since the Olympics.
WC 5th-placer Khallifah Rosser, a winner at the Doha and Lausanne DLs, scored his fourth runner-up race in the ’22 series in 47.76 ahead of fellow American CJ Allen (48.21).
The show put on by the beautifully striding dos Santos was a wonder to behold. Racing in lane 6, the 22-year-old Brazilian ate the stagger to Wilfried Happio to his outside in roughly 110m.
After taking the first two hurdles with his preferred left leg, dos Santos 12-stepped and alternated over hurdles 3, 4 & 5 before racing home the rest of the way with a 13-step pattern.
He was all smiles on the line and crossed himself just before the gun. At the finish he beamed even brighter and clapped for himself.
“I am nearly invincible; that is nice,” he declared. “I want to keep doing that. I believe in myself, I have a lot of confidence.
“After Eugene, my life changed, now I have a target, now I am world champion. Now everyone wants to beat me and I want to fight for the win. I love this energy. I love to win. This is my first Diamond Trophy. It is amazing. What a perfect day.”
With one more ’22 race to come in Bellinzona, dos Santos said, “Next year Karsten Warholm will come back again, even stronger. So the next World Championships will be amazing. I have so many things to work on for next year.”
1. Alison dos Santos (Bra) 46.98 (x, =12 W); 2. Khallifah Rosser (US) 47.76; 3. CJ Allen (US) 48.21; 4. Wilfried Happio (Fra) 48.72; 5. Julien Watrin (Bel) 49.08; 6. Yasmani Copello (Tur) 49.10; 7. Julien Bonvin (Swi) 49.63; 8. Nick Smidt (Neth) 51.82.