Some top results at the Athletissima meeting also included two 18-metre-plus triple jumps by Christian Taylor and a 90.16m javelin throw by Keshorn Walcott
Mo Farah made a winning return at Lausanne’s Athletissima Diamond League meeting on Thursday (July 9) as he competed for the first time since doping allegations were made against his coach, Alberto Salazar, at the beginning of June.
Farah, who had waved to the crowds and done his signature “Mobot” pose on the 5000m start-line, settled himself within the pack as the first kilometre was passed in 2:45. With three laps remaining the double Olympic, world and European champion moved to the front and was controlling the pace with two laps to go.
Kenya’s Commonwealth champion and world indoor 3000m gold medallist Caleb Ndiku, who returned to action in Lausanne following injury, suffered a fall with around 600m to go, but being at the front meant Farah was ahead of the danger. That was until world-leader Yomif Kejelcha made a move with 300m to go, but Farah’s finishing strength was too much for the Ethiopian teenager and the Briton powered over the line after a 54.44-second last lap, wildly celebrating as he went, to clock 13:11.77 to Kejelcha’s 13:12.59.
Kenya’s Olympic bronze medallist Edwin Soi was third in 13:17.17 as Ndiku eventually finished 11th in 13:32.35. Farah’s fellow Briton Andy Vernon was 15th in 13:47.97.
“It was my first time in Lausanne,” Farah told organisers. “I wanted to race everybody and today offered that opportunity.
“I had a great finish. Overall I am happy with the way the race went today.”
It was the first time the 32-year-old had raced since the Prefontaine Classic at the end of May. He had been due to run the 1500m at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix on June 7 but withdrew saying he had been left “emotionally and physically drained” following claims made by BBC’s Panorama and website ProPublica that Salazar had broken doping rules.
Salazar has denied any wrongdoing and has since published a lengthy response to the claims, while there is no suggestion that Farah has violated any rules.
“This victory is also a way to answer some of the critics regarding my coach that came out lately,” Farah added.
In the field USA’s Christian Taylor became only the second athlete after Jonathan Edwards to record two wind-legal 18m-plus jumps in a triple jump competition series, the Olympic champion improving on his 18.02m from the fifth round with an 18.06m PB from his last jump.
The event provided another great head-to-head between Taylor and Cuba’s 18.08m man Pedro Pablo Pichardo, who just missed out on another 18-metre leap with his best of 17.99m for the runner-up spot. USA’s Omar Craddock was third with 17.30m.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic javelin champion Keshorn Walcott moved from 59th to 14th on the world all-time list as he threw over 90 metres for the first time. His 90.16m meeting record and national record came in the first round and that was enough as Czech Republic’s Vitezslav Vesely was runner up with 87.97m.
Recently-crowned British 200m champion Zharnel Hughes, who recently had his GB allegiance confirmed, again claimed victory over that distance, clocking a PB of 20.13 from lane two to beat South Africa’s Diamond Race leader Anaso Jobodwana with 20.21. USA’s Isiah Young clocked 20.27 in third.
Hughes’ time puts him equal fifth with Darren Campbell on the UK all-time list as he becomes the first British winner of a Diamond League 100m or 200m race. With his 20th birthday four days away, Hughes is also the youngest ever winner of a Diamond League 100m or 200m race.
In the women’s event, USA’s Olympic champion Allyson Felix cruised to victory in 22.09 to beat double European sprint champion Dafne Schippers with 22.29. Britain’s Bianca Williams ran 23.24 in seventh.
The last Diamond League event on the track was the men’s 800m which saw Botswana’s Commonwealth champion Nijel Amos victorious after a battle in the home straight with Kenya’s world record-holder David Rudisha – 1:43.27 to 1:43.76.
Dawn Harper-Nelson came out on top in a close 100m hurdles race as she led an American top four with her 12.55 ahead of Jasmin Stowers with 12.58. Behind them, British record-holder Tiffany Porter clocked 12.66 in fifth. There was another American victory in the men’s 400m hurdles as Bershawn Jackson clocked 48.71 for the win.
Over in the high jump and Russia’s Olympic champion Anna Chicherova cleared a world-leading 2.03m on her final attempt before deciding to call it a day. Isobel Pooley, who recently cleared a British record-equalling 1.97m to win the British title, cleared 1.85m but failed her attempts at 1.88m.
Kenya’s Virginia Nyambura broke the 3000m steeplechase meeting record with 9:16.99 as Ethiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew ran 9:17.22 in second. USA’s Emma Coburn finished third in 9:20.67. Netherlands’ European indoor and outdoor champion Sifan Hassan stormed to victory in the 1500m, clocking 4:02.36 to cross the line clear ahead of Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon with 4:03.38 and USA’s Jenny Simpson with 4:03.54.
World indoor bronze medallist Shaunae Miller of Bahamas went sub-50 seconds for 400m for the first time, clocking 49.92 to beat USA’s Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross who clocked 51.12 and Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills with 51.15. In fourth, Britain’s Anyika Onuora clocked a 51.26 PB.
World champion David Storl was another to break a barrier as he threw over 22 metres in the shot put for the first time, his meeting record of 22.20m securing him victory ahead of Americans Joe Kovacs and Reese Hoffa with 21.71m and 21.30m respectively.
The first event of the meeting, the women’s discus, saw Cuba’s Yaime Perez throw a 67.13m PB to beat Croatia’s Olympic champion Sandra Perković with 67.06m as Perez’s compatriot Denia Caballero was another to better 66 metres with 66.04m.
USA’s Tianna Bartoletta leapt 6.86m to win the long jump ahead of British record-holder Shara Proctor with 6.79m, while world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie was again beaten in the pole vault – after his defeat in Paris the Frenchman cleared a best of 5.76m for third in a Lausanne event won by Poland’s Pawel Wojciechowski with 5.84m.
Bobby Clay led a British one-two in the under-20 1500m, clocking 4:16.88 to beat Rosie Johnson with 4:28.67.
In the non-Diamond League 100m, world No.1 Justin Gatlin clocked 9.75 (+1.4) – a time just 0.01 off his own world lead – to beat Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay who both crossed the line with 9.92 on the clock.