07 June, 2019

Magic Muir continues stellar start to season in Rome

  • Laura Muir was crowned Diamond League champion in 2018

The Scot set a benchmark time in a stacked field in the Italian capital

Laura Muir continued her fine start to the season by posting her second-fastest ever 1500m time in Rome on Thursday evening. 

Muir, a winner in Stockholm last week and Diamond League reigning champion, pushed world-record holder Genzebe Dibaba all the way in the Italian capital, coming second in 3:65.73.

Competing in a high-quality field, the 26-year-old GB star tracked the Ethiopian almost pace-for-pace on the final lap in another supreme early-season display. 

“This is the start of the season, and I’m definitely getting there,” the Scot said. 

"I’ve never done 3:56 at this time of the season – it feels great. 

“Having Dibaba in the race and trying to stay with her is extra motivation. 

“We had the top of the field here and they’re all world-class athletes, so I feel very proud to be among them.”

It was also a night to remember for 2018 Muller Grand Prix Birmingham winner Malaika Mihambo, the German soaring to a new PB of 7.07m in a dominant long jump display. 

The impressive leap was an 11cm improvement on her meeting record at the Alexander Stadium – and proof, if it were needed, that Mihambo is ready to challenge for major honours this year. 

Elsewhere, it was first blood to Elaine Thompson in Rome as the Olympic champion edged rival Dina Asher-Smith in a scintillating women’s 100m. 

In a precursor to their highly-anticipated meeting at the Muller Anniversary Games, the duo outlined their credentials by both dipping under 11 seconds in the Italian capital – Thompson posting a world leading 10.89 and Asher-Smith clocking in at 10.94. 

Asher-Smith had beaten the Jamaican in the 200m in Stockholm last week, but it was a different story stepping down to the shorter distance in what was their first 100m confrontation of the Diamond League season. 

Comfortably ahead after 60m, the Brit appeared well on course for her third successive Diamond League victory only for Thompson to roar from behind and edge it in a stunning finish. 

“Obviously, 10.94 as an opener – I really can’t complain,” Asher-Smith said.

“I’ve never opened sub-11 before, so that’s something that my coach is going to be absolutely over the moon about. 

“To come second was frustrating and especially as I was doing so well but then felt myself tensing up. That’s just what happens in races and that’s why you need to do more and more: to get race fit.”