Bahamas star Shaunae Miller-Uibo came from behind to overhaul home hope Dina Asher-Smith and win a star-studded women’s 200m at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Sunday.
Asher-Smith fell just short, as did her compatriot Adam Gemili in the men’s 100m, the injury-plagued sprinter being held off by the slimmest of margins by Jamaica’s 2011 world champion Yohan Blake.
There was a consolation for Asher-Smith as well as two-time world champion at the distance Dafne Schippers who finished a distant fourth.
That’s because Miller-Uibo will only contest the event in which she is Olympic champion – the 400m – at the world championships in Doha which begin on September 27.
“Nothing went right for me from the get go,” said Miller-Uibo.
“I had to really fight to get back on level terms but once I pulled upsides her I knew I had the power to win,” added the 25-year-old.
Asher-Smith was satisfied with her run which saw Jamaican great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finish third.
“The competitor inside me always wants to win but with that field I am more than satisfied to be second,” said Asher-Smith.
Blake and Gemili have both had injury woes down the years but they provided a thrilling finish to the 100m.
Blake timed 10.07sec holding on by eight thousandths of a second from the fast-finishing Gemili in a race that had lost some of its lustre with the withdrawal on Friday of American champion Christian Coleman.
“I am feeling good and I want to keep on improving,” said 29-year-old Blake.
“I wanted to put on a good show and lay down a marker.”
For Gemili it was a very encouraging performance with the likes of training partner and triple Olympic medalist Andre de Grasse and Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine behind him.
“To finish second in a field like this is fantastic,” he said.
Danielle Williams landed a big psychological blow ahead of the world championships, Jamaica’s 100 metres hurdles world champion in 2015 winning in a meeting record of 12.48 seconds.
‘Put up a wall’
The 26-year-old beat a top class field with several of her main rivals for world gold behind her including world record holder Kendra Harrison of the US.
“Definitely that was an important win with the world championships coming up,” said Williams.
Harrison was satisfied with her second place after just edging into the final following a disappointing heat.
“I hit a lot of hurdles in the preliminary race but I bounced back,” said Harrison.
Jamaica may have fallen away in terms of their rivalry with the USA over the 100m since the retirement of Usain Bolt but in the hurdles they remain strong.
Omar McLeod, the 110 metres hurdles Olympic and world champion, won in an event that is not in the Diamond League this season.
McLeod had a frustrating 2018 with injuries but is running into form at the right time.
“It’s a new me I am very very happy. I know myself and that when I am happy and satisfied I am ready,” said McLeod.
“I want to be able to go to Doha and say hey I am here and prepared. If you put up a wall you have to break it down and I am doing that.”
Germany can look forward to a potentially successful world championships for their women’s team.
Tatjana Pinto, their national 100m and 200m champion, charged through once she hit her stride to win the 100m in 11.15sec. American champion Teahna Daniels could only finish third.
Pinto’s compatriot Konstanze Klosterhalfen produced a dominant run in the mile to power away in the finishing straight.