It was very windy on the track at Alexander Stadium at the Birmingham Diamond League today, but the Canadians performed more than respectably in spite of it. Canadian record-holder Gabriela DeBues-Stafford had an excellent day, finishing second to Konstanze Klosterhalfen in the Millicent Fawcett Women’s Mile, who set a meet record and German record with her 4:21.11 finish. DeBues-Stafford’s time was 4:22.47.
DeBues-Stafford tucked in behind the German from the beginning, and the pair had put 10 metres between themselves and the rest of the pack by the third lap. Klosterhalfen recently moved from Germany to train with Alberto Salazar of the Nike Oregon Project, and the results are evident.
Toujours un plaisir Birmingham !
Exciting to go for the win and disappointed to come up short but thrilled with the improvements being made 🇨🇦❤️🇬🇧 https://t.co/soT3H5CkNB
— Gabriela DeBues-Stafford (@gstafford13) August 18, 2019
The American, Christian Coleman, was a late scratch out of the much-anticipated 100m against Andre De Grasse on Friday, citing injury and the need to be ready for world championships, which begin in Doha on September 28. (De Grasse beat Coleman at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet on June 20.)
De Grasse still faced a very deep field, however: Olympic medallist and former world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica won the final over the UK’s Adam Gemili in a photo-finish 10.07 (Gemili finishing 8/1000’s of a second behind Blake), with the US’s Michael Rodgers in third in 10.09 and Christopher Belcher fourth in 10.13. De Grasse was fifth, also in 10.13.
Canadian record-holder Gen Lalonde ran a solid 9:31.07 for 11th place in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase against world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya and a number of other East Africans. Chepkoech’s face showed no strain whatsoever as she ran to a meet record of 9:05.55. (Her world record, set last year, is a whopping 20 seconds faster.) Lalonde was just over a second off her PB of 9:29.82, which is also the Canadian record, set at Shanghai Diamond League earlier this year.
Olympian Melissa Bishop-Nriagu did not race the women’s 800m as planned. With Caster Semenya and Francine Niyonsaba also absent, world championship bronze medallist Ajee Wilson of the US looked completely relaxed as she cruised to victory in 2:00.76, with Lynsey Sharp of the UK in second (2:01.09) and Raevyn Rogers of the US third in 2:01.4.