Erriyon Knighton bounces back, American records fall: Brussels Diamond League recap, results, highlights

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After a sixth-place finish in Lausanne last week, 18-year-old phenom Erriyon Knighton bounced back with a win in the 200m at the Brussels Diamond League, the final meet of the season before the two-day final in Zurich. Knighton ran 20.07, edging out second-place Alexander Ogando of the Dominican Republic and Canada’s Aaron Brown, for the first Diamond League win of his career. The meet was the final opportunity for athletes to earn points and qualify for the Diamond League final. Knighton’s win secured him a spot – the full Diamond League standings are here.

RELATED: Erriyon Knighton ran another historic sprint time, then returned to high school

To continue her remarkable retirement tour, Kara Winger threw an American and meet record 223′ 5″ (68.11m) for the win in the women’s javelin. The 36-year-old Winger, who announced that 2022 would be her final competitive season, won silver at 2022 World Championships, going from fifth to second on her final throw and becoming the first American woman to win a world medal in javelin.

Winger wasn’t the only athlete of the day to notch an American record in Brussels: Grant Fisher finished second in the men’s 5000m in 12:46.96, breaking Bernard Lagat’s record of 12:53.60 from 2011. Fisher was 4th in the 10,000m at 2022 World Championships and sixth in the 5000m, where he was in medal position in the final 200m but got caught in traffic just ahead of the finish line. Pending official ratification, this is the 25-year-old’s fourth entry in the American record books this year – he owns the top mark in the outdoor 3000m, the indoor and outdoor 5000m and the outdoor 10,000m. Kenya’s Jacob Krop took the win in a world-leading 12:45.71, with his countryman Nicholas Kipkorir third.

2022 400m hurdles world champion Alison Dos Santos of Brazil continued his undefeated season in his signature event, winning in 47.54 ahead of American Khallifah Rosser. In the women’s 100m, a dominant summer continued for Jamaican sprinters, with reigning 200m world champion Shericka Jackson taking the win ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Fraser-Pryce, the 2022 world champion, returned to racing after dropping out of the Lausanne meet with a hamstring issue. Marie-Josee Ta Lou (Côte d’Ivoire) was third. Aleia Hobbs was the top American finisher in 4th, with Sha’Carri Richardson 5th in 10.93.

Full results from Brussels Diamond League meet

Undoubtedly the most shocking upset of the meet came in the men’s pole vault, where world and Olympic champion and world record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden finished second to Ernest John “EJ” Obiena of the Philippines. Obiena has international credentials after taking bronze at 2022 World Championships but Duplantis had been undefeated for over a year (his last loss was a fourth-place finish at the Lausanne Diamond League meet on August 26, 2021, shortly after his win at the Tokyo Olympics).

In the 100m hurdles, Tokyo Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (Puerto Rico) took care of business with a win in 12.27, a meet record. Americans Tia Jones and Keni Harrison were second and third across the line. And in the final race of the meet, world 1500m champion Jake Wightman of Great Britain took the win in the men’s 800m over 2022 world silver medalist Djamel Sedjati (Algeria) and reigning world and Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir (Kenya). Wightman has taken advantage of the packed track calendar this summer to find success at multiple distance: in addition to the world title at 1500m, he was third at the distance at the Commonwealth Games, and 2nd in the 800m at European Championships in August.

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How does the Diamond League Final Work?

Now that the Brussels Diamond League meet has concluded, the next and last event on the DL calendar is the final in Zurich, scheduled for September 7th and 8th on Peacock and CNBC. Throughout the season, athletes have earned points at Diamond League meets based on their finish, with eight points awarded for a win, seven for second and on down to one point for an eighth-place finish. At the final, athletes will compete for the title of Diamond League champion, which comes with a bye to 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Full rules can be found here.

RELATED: Paris 2024 Olympic competition schedule published in detail

Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

Kenenisa Bekele
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LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Bekele
Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Kipchoge
Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Bekele
Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Kipchoge
Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

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Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Amos Kipruto win London Marathon

Yalemzerf Yehualaw
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Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest female runner to win the London Marathon, while Kenyan Amos Kipruto earned the biggest victory of his career in the men’s race.

Yehualaw, 23, clocked 2:17:26, prevailing by 41 seconds over 2021 London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya.

Yehualaw tripped and fell over a speed bump around the 20-mile mark. She quickly rejoined the lead pack, then pulled away from Jepkosgei by running the 24th mile in a reported 4:43, which converts to 2:03:30 marathon pace; the women’s world record is 2:14:04.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei were pre-race favorites after world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya withdrew Monday with a right hamstring injury.

On April 24, Yehualaw ran the fastest women’s debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg, Germany.

She has joined the elite tier of female marathoners, a group led by Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic, New York City and Boston champion. Another Ethiopian staked a claim last week when Tigist Assefa won Berlin in 2:15:37, shattering Yehualaw’s national record.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, finished Sunday’s race in 3:20:20 at age 65.

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:04:39. He broke free from the leading group in the 25th mile and crossed the finish line 33 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase, who said he had hamstring problems.

Kipruto, one of the pre-race favorites, had never won a major marathon but did finish second behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo (2022) and Berlin (2018) and third at the world championships (2019) and Tokyo (2018).

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathoner in history, was fifth after being dropped in the 21st mile. His 2:05:53 was the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. Bekele ran his personal best at the 2019 Berlin Marathon — 2:01:41 — and has not run within four minutes of that time since.

The major marathon season continues next Sunday with the Chicago Marathon, headlined by a women’s field that includes Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and American Emily Sisson.

London returns next year to its traditional April place after being pushed to October the last three years due to the pandemic.

MORE: Bekele looks ahead to Kipchoge chase after London Marathon

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