23 August, 2018

Top five moments from 2018 Müller Grand Prix Birmingham

Serving as the final ‘non-final’ of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League series, stacked fields across the board saw plenty of anticipation built-up ahead of Birmingham’s Müller Grand Prix at the Alexander Stadium on August 18th.

Once the action got underway, close to three hours of wall-to-wall high-quality action saw four meeting records, two national records and a whopping 28 personal bests set across the 18 senior events which took place.

Here are five of the highlights from this year’s meeting…

Coleman returns to form as Prescod goes to number 4 on the British all-time list in a close men’s 100m final

Featuring the quickest sprinters in 2018, the men’s 100m was always going to be one of the standout events from this year’s Müller Grand Prix Birmingham, and the final certainly didn’t disappoint.

In a thrilling finale to the meet, four men went under the 10-second barrier, as World Indoor 60m champion and 60m world record holder Christian Coleman won by the narrowest of margins.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Reece Prescod’s incredible acceleration almost nullified Coleman’s outstanding start, but, after a photo finish, with both sprinters fixated on the big screen waiting for the official result, the win was awarded to Coleman.

Coleman and Prescod were both given a time of 9.94 seconds – a season’s best for Coleman and a personal best for Prescod – with Coleman edging it by 0.001 seconds on the line. Although Prescod was denied the victory, the British sprinter moved to fourth on the British all-time list and received the ‘Müller Performance of the Day’.

Two meeting records in spectacular long jumps as Rutherford says farewell

Spectators in the main stand were not only treated to a scintillating men’s 100m final, but they also had the best seats in the stadium for what turned out to be two thrilling long jump competitions.

Newly crowned European champion Malaika Mihambo (GER) and world and Commonwealth champion Luvo Manyonga (RSA) both thrived in windy conditions at the Alexander Stadium, setting meeting records en-route to victories in the men’s and women’s long jump.

Manyonga delighted the Birmingham crowd with an enormous meeting record of 8.53m in the men’s competition, 36cm further than the second-best jump in the competition. Mihambo also leaped to a meeting record in the women’s equivalent – the newly crowned European champion’s jump of 6.96m was only 3cm short of her personal best, set earlier this year.

Whilst Manyonga and Mihambo certainly gave the spectators plenty to cheer about, Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Greg Rutherford received one of the biggest ovations of the day as the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion competed in Birmingham for the final time before bringing an end to his glittering career later this year.

While his best of 7.43m might not have seen Rutherford bow out in a blaze of glory, the British long jumper certainly ended the final stadium event of his career with a smile and ensured the crowd left with plenty of memories, posing for photos with spectators and signing autographs for some 3 hours after his competition had finished.

Aussies rule as history is made in men’s Emsley Carr Mile

History was made in the Emsley Carr Mile as Stewart McSweyn became the first Australian to win the event – an annual invitational one-mile race that has been held since 1953.

McSweyn sprinted past his compatriot and training partner Ryan Gregson with 40 metres to go and crossed the line in a personal best time of 3:54.60. Gregson held off the challenge of the USA’s Paul Chelimo to secure an Australian one-two and a seasons best time of 3:55.10.

Seven of the top nine set either personal or season bests as McSweyn moved to 11th on the Australian all-time list.

Lap of honour for Tirop after Kenyan one-two-three in women’s 3000m

Kenya went one better in the women’s 3000m as Agnes Jebet Tirop led a Kenyan one-two-three across the line, winning comfortably in a time of 8:32.21.

Tirop pulled away from her compatriot Lilian Kasait Rengeruk in the final 50m, who finished second, while Hellen Obiri set a seasons best time of 8:36.26 to complete the Kenyan one-two-three.

The women’s 3000m was the second quickest race over the distance in 2018 – only the 3000m at the Diamond League meeting in May was quicker than in Birmingham.

This saw a lot of quick times being set and the Kenyan trio were followed by the British pair of Eilish McColgan and Melissa Courtney, who set season and personal bests respectively.

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter finished seventh in a new Israeli national record of 8:42.88, one of two national records set on Saturday.

Lyles’ talents extend further than on the track

US sprinter Noah Lyles has become one of the most talked about athletes of 2018; the 21-year-old is the current world leader in both the 100m and 200m. But, at the pre-event press conference on Friday, it was his performance away from the track which got the world’s media talking.

Asked by compere Geoff Wightman about his rapping talent, Lyles broke into an impromptu rap, much to the delight of the gathered media. If you haven’t seen it, it is definitely worth a watch: https://twitter.com/Diamond_League/status/1030415268005142529

Full results from the 2018 Müller Grand Prix Birmingham can be found by clicking here.