Athletics

Mondo Duplantis and Elaine Thompson-Herah win in 2020 Diamond League finale

Stewart McSweyn set a new Australian 1500m record as Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon clocked an 800m world lead in Doha.

By Rory Jiwani ·

Mondo Duplantis and Elaine Thompson-Herah were among the victors at the final Diamond League event of 2020 in Doha on Friday (25 September).

A week after breaking Sergey Bubka's outdoor world record in Rome, Duplantis made sure he went the whole of the season unbeaten although his winning height of 5.82m was some way below his best.

Thompson-Herah was in a class of her own in the 100m as Stewart McSweyn and Faith Kipyegon both stepped down in distance to claim excellent wins, the former in a new Australian 1500m record.

Elaine Thompson-Herah wins the 100m at the Doha Diamond League

Duplantis just does enough

It's been a long season for Mondo Duplantis, but he finished it with a win despite experiencing something of an off-day.

Up against him were world champion Sam Kendricks, the last man to beat him, and London 2012 gold medallist Renaud Lavillenie.

The trio all cleared 5.82m, the Swede with his first attempt while his rivals needed all three to get over.

The competition was over when Lavillenie and Kendricks both had three failures at 5.92m with Duplantis sealing his 16th consecutive victory despite two failures at that height.

Ever the crowdpleaser, Duplantis then had one attempt at 6.00m but knocked off the bar to end the season with something of a whimper.

That said, he could be excused for feeling somewhat tired having had a year to remember including breaking the absolute world record twice indoors back in February.

Elaine Thompson-Herah swiftly put the outcome of the 100m beyond doubt in Qatar's capital.

Jamaica's double sprint champion from Rio 2016 was clear within 30 metres as Marie-Josee Ta Lou failed to get her usual fast start.

And Thompson-Herah win in 10.87s, just two-hundredths outside her world lead time set in Rome last week.

Ta Lou took second with USA's Kayla White third.

Thompson-Herah said afterwards, "I am happy to win but my major focus is to finish the year healthy. Preparations for the Olympics is the next on my agenda and it begins in earnest.

"I don't normally celebrate a win for long and tonight I am just going to have some rest, eat good food before heading to the airport. I hope to resume training in earnest."

Elaine Thompson-Herah: This is my plan

The last three years have been quite challenging for double Olympic champio...

Stewart McSweyn was rewarded for a bold run in the 1500m with a new Australian record of 3:30.51.

No one else in the field was prepared to go with the pacemakers, but the 25-year-old stuck to his task and lasted home having set a new 3000m national record last week in Rome.

McSweyn also holds the 10,000m Australian record with next year's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games foremost in the Tasmanian runner's mind.

He said, "I wasn't in the best of shape coming into this race but to win tonight is something I am very delighted about. I just wanted to race again considering how this season has been.

"It was a very competitive race but I executed my plan quite well and I maintained the pace. I intend to go back to Australia and take a short break after this before resuming training again.

"My target is next year's Olympics and I'll have to be in the best of shape for it." - Stewart McSweyn

Reigning 1500m Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon showed her adaptability with a fine victory in her first 800m since 2015.

The Kenyan could have a double at Tokyo in mind after surging clear in the last 200m to clock 1:57.69 for a new personal best and the fastest time in the world this year.

Kipyegon said, "I wasn't really expecting to win and that's why I am very surprised not only with the win but with my record here tonight. It's a great feeling and I am happy to be here in Doha.

"The year has been a disturbing one for everyone and I am glad it is coming to an end. We can't wait for 2021. I am going back home to celebrate with my husband and daughter and after that start the preparation for next year and particularly for the Olympics." - Faith Kipyegon

Faith Kipyegon poses with the clock after her 800m victory in the Doha Diamond League

Kipyegon's compatriot Hellen Obiri impressed as she ran a world lead in the 3000m.

The world 5000m champion crossed the line in 8:22.54 with Kenyans filling the first five places.

There was another Kenyan win in the 800m courtesy of last year world bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich in a season's best 1:44.16.

Aaron Mallet was not put off by two false starts as he ran a personal best of 13.15s to take the 110m hurdles.

Just five were left after Freddie Crittenden injured himself in the warm-up and Paolo Dal Molin and Wilhem Belocian both jumped the gun.

And American Mallet hurdled smoothly to take the win, pounding the track with his hand in delight after seeing the scoreboard.

He said, "After the two false starts, I just recalibrated the whole race in my head and I tried to stay focussed. I've been preparing for this competition for quite a long time and tonight I just went out to execute what I've been training for."

Payton Chadwick clocked a season's best 12.78s to lead home a USA 1-2 in the women's 100m hurdles with multi-eventer Payton Brooks second in a personal best 12.86s.

Arthur Cisse has enjoyed himself in this year's shortened season and he won the 200m in a new Ivorian record of 20.23s from Julian Forte of Jamaica and France's Rio 2016 bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre.

Kahmari Montgomery claimed his first Diamond League victory over 400m with a winning time of 45.55s, although the American had to be treated on the track afterwards for what looked like heat exhaustion.

And Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk saved her best for last in the long jump which again used the sixth round as a decider between the three top jumpers.

The Ukrainian was second after five rounds, but jumped a season's best 6.91m to take victory.

Ese Brume of Nigeria took the runner-up spot with Sweden's Khaddi Sagnia, who led the competition with 6.85m after five rounds, only third thanks to her final effort of 6.55m.

In a standard competition, Sagnia would have beaten Brume for second.