Eighteen-year-old Christine Mboma topped a talented field of women over 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Friday when Natoya Goule closed out the action on the track by winning the 800m.

The marquee event, however, was the 200m and it lived up to expectations.

The Namibian, the Olympic silver medalist and World U20 champion, running on from behind, surged past Shericka Jackson with 30m to go and won in 21.84. Jackson was again under 22 seconds, clocking 21.95 while Dina Asher-Smith finished third in a season-best 22.03.

The much-talked-about Sha’Carri Richardson was never a factor. She trailed off the curve and was passed down the stretch by Mboma and Asher-Smith to finish fourth in 22.45.

Mboma was elated at getting her first Diamond League win.

“I was really excited to run here in Brussels. It was my first Diamond League experience and to be able to win in such a strong field is great,” she said.

“It has been a very tough and busy season with the Olympics and the World junior championships, but I'm still in good shape. I ran almost a personal best today, so that pleases me. I still have one race to go in Zurich and after that, I will take some rest.”

Jackson, meantime, was disappointed at not winning enjoyed the competition.

“I´m happy with my race but I really wanted to win today,” she said.

“I had a good start so I´m happy with that but there´s still room for improvement. I was able to accelerate towards the end but couldn´t get the win. I loved to race here and the feeling was good.”

Similarly, Asher-Smith was happy with her season-best.

“I´m so happy with my race! I ran a season's best and had a good feeling. It felt so good to be here and to be able to run this fast,” said the Brit, who was unable to compete in the 200m because of a hamstring injury.

“I worked so hard after my injury to return and feel strong again. I really love to run here in Brussels. I still have a few races to go so I hope I can improve myself and feel good. The relaxed feeling is back so I´m very happy with that.”

Goule, a finalist at the Tokyo Olympics, ran a strategic race behind the pacemaker but then assumed the lead with 300m to go.

She would hold that lead until the end to win her first Diamond League race in 1:58.09, holding off Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, who clocked 1:58.16 for second place. Jemma Reekie also of Great Britain was third in 1:58.77.

´I’m extremely happy with my win today! I´m just so excited and happy to win my first Diamond League race,” she said.

“I have to thank God and my coach for believing in me. To race here today, especially against these girls. They are all so strong. I have a lot of respect for Keely Hodgkinson. She´s so good and humble, a very good athlete and still so young. So I´m very happy I could still sprint and take the win. The big crowd today definitely helped with that. You just feel everyone´s excitement for today. I hope I can win in Zurich as well but it will be hard.”

Earlier, Megan Tapper was third in the 100m hurdles but there was misfortune for Danielle Williams, who appeared to suffer an injury and limped across the line in eighth. She was eventually disqualified.

Tapper, the Olympic bronze medalist, got off to a fast start but was eventually caught by Tobi Amusan and Nadine Visser, who crossed the line together and were credited with 12.69. Tapper clocked 12.77 for her second podium finish in the Diamond League this season.

There was no Karsten Warholm or Rai Benjamin in the 400m hurdles but it was no less dramatic as Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos and the British Virgin Islands’ Kyron McMaster engaged in a stirring battle that the latter looked like winning after seven hurdles.

However, the Brazilian eased into the lead over the final hurdle and held it to win in 48.24. McMaster finished second in 48.31.

Jaheel Hyde was in position to finish on the podium but seemed to run out of steam down the stretch and was unable to hold off a fast-finishing Yasmani Copello of Turkey, who took third in 48.45. Hyde had to settle for fourth in 48.91.

The men’s 400m was won by American Michael Cherry in a new personal best and meet record 44.03 leaving Kirani James (44.51) and Isaac Makwala (44.83) in his wake.

 

 

 

 

 

The Women’s 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Friday promises to be an electric affair as it features a few of the fastest women in the event in the world this year.

The world’s fastest woman Elaine Thompson (21.53) is a late withdrawal but the field is still stacked.

It features firebrand American Sha’Carri Richardson,  Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson as well as Olympic silver medalist and World U20 champion Christine Mboma of Namibia, both of whom have run faster over the half-lap sprint than the upstart American.

 The 18-year-old Mboma ran a lifetime best 21.81 for the silver medal in Tokyo and 21.82 to win the World U20 title in Kenya last month. She will prove to be a handful not just for the American but also for the Olympic 100m silver medalist Shericka Jackson, who ran a personal best 21.82 in June.

However, in a pre-meet media conference on Friday, Richardson, who will be running on fresher legs, said she hopes to go below her previous best.

“I feel like a baby in such a company because a lot of ladies have a time of 21 seconds behind their name. I get into the starting blocks with the same eagerness for a 200m as I do for a 100m, so hopefully, I can prove that with a fast chrono. My coach and I are also working very hard to excel in both distances, so I'm really looking forward to diving under 22 seconds,” said Richardson whose personal best is 22.00 but has a season-best time of 22.11 run in Gainesville, Florida in April.

She might very well need to, if she is to win, because also included in the line-up is the reigning European champion Dina Asher-Smith, who hampered by a hamstring injury, was forced to withdraw from the event at the Tokyo Olympics last month.

However, the Briton, who is gradually returning to full health, ran a season-best 22.06 in Italy in June and will be hoping to get close to that time after a promising 22.19 for third in Eugene, Oregon on August 21.

Olympic finalist Beatrice Masilingi is also included in the line-up. The Namibian teenager, the sixth-place finisher at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, ran a personal best 22.18 for the silver medal behind at the World U20 Championships in Kenya last month.

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