The fifth meet of the 2021 Diamond League took place in Stockholm on Sunday, and it produced several big results. Canadians Marco Arop, Aaron Brown and Jerome Blake were in action, each racing just a day after being named to the Canadian Olympic team headed to Tokyo later this month. In international results, hurdles star Femke Bol set the Dutch 400mH record for the second time in the last week, Cuba’s Rose Mary Almanza ran to a meet record in the 800m and Timothy Cheruiyot won the men’s 1,500m as he fights to earn a spot on the Kenyan Olympic team.
Keeping up with the Canadians
On Saturday, Athletics Canada named the 57-person team it will be sending to the Tokyo Games. Included on the list are Arop, Brown and Blake. Arop, who will be competing at the Olympics for the first time in his young career, will run the 800m, the same event he raced on Sunday in Stockholm. Arop has had a tremendous season so far, and in his five races, he hasn’t finished off the podium. That streak includes Sunday’s result, as he ran to a second-place finish in 1:44.00, beating his previous best of 1:44.14. Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich took the win in 1:43.84.
Nominated for Tokyo on Saturday and back on the track on Sunday. Marco Arop, Jerome Blake and Aaron Brown put in good performances at the Diamond League meet in Sweden today. Get all the details: https://t.co/AQIlynjCKN pic.twitter.com/Jc1XorBRhM
— Athletics Canada (@AthleticsCanada) July 4, 2021
Brown and Blake raced the men’s 100m, both finishing in 10.18 seconds. Brown edged his compatriot out for fifth place, and Blake earned sixth in a PB performance. Tokyo will mark Brown’s third appearance at the Olympic Games, and he is set to race the 200m and 4 x 100m relay. Like Arop, Tokyo will be Blake’s first time racing at the Olympics, where he will join Brown on the 4 x 100m relay team.
Bol continues to dominate
Other than one DNF in an 800m (a distance that she has only raced once in her professional career) earlier this year, Bol has not lost an individual race in 2021. Just 21, Bol is the woman to beat in the 400mH in Europe, and she will be a threat to medal in Tokyo, where she’ll face the likes of Americans Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin (who set the 400mH world record of 51.90 at the U.S. Trials).
Bol has dominated the event over the last couple of years, and in that time, she has run the eight fastest times in Dutch history, two of which have come in the past few days. She ran a national record of 53.33 seconds on Thursday (beating her previous record of 53.44), and on Sunday, she lowered that mark once more, posting a time of 52.37 in Sweden. She won the race just ahead of American Shamier Little, who ran 52.39, and the Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova, who also ran a national record, crossing the line in 52.96.
The fourth fastest time in history aged 21!
— Wanda Diamond League (@Diamond_League) July 4, 2021
The men’s 400mH also saw some excitement in Stockholm. On Thursday, Norway’s Karsten Warholm set the world record in the event at the Oslo Diamond League, where he ran 46.70 seconds. Second place in that race went to Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos, who ran a national and South American record of 47.38 seconds. Dos Santos was back in action on Sunday, and he broke both of those records once more, running 47.34 to take the win.
In the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, Leah Falland of the U.S. (who was in third position at the U.S. Olympic trials behind the eventual first and second-place finishers, Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs, until an unfortunate fall late in the race scuppered her chance to go to Tokyo) ran a PB of 9:16.96, which was good enough for fifth place.
In the women’s 800m, Almanza took the win in a Stockholm Diamond League meet record, running 1:56.28. This bettered the previous meet record of 1:56.72, which Mozambique’s Maria Mutola set all the way back in 1998. British phenom Keely Hodgkinson ran a PB of 1:57.51 to finish fourth.
Finally, there was the men’s 1,500m, which saw Cheruiyot, the reigning world champion in the event, win in 3:32.30. This was Cheruiyot’s first race since the Kenyan Olympic Trials, where he finished in fourth, missing out on a spot on the national team headed to Tokyo. Cheruiyot still has a chance to prove to Athletics Kenya that he deserves a spot on the Olympic team, and he will continue his campaign in Monaco later this week.
For full results from Stockholm, click here.