With the weather on their side--sunny and in the mid-70s--we saw world leads get set in the women's pole vault, men's high jump, men's steeplechase, men's 1500m, and men's 3000m. I guess we can count the men's 600m too, if you insist.
Men's 3000m Steeplechase
Jailus Birech showed some fatigue--or maybe he's shaken up from the fall he took--after racing earlier this week in Rome, but Conseslus Kipruto somehow looked better for it. He found himself running solo for nearly half the race, yet still managed to run a personal best of 8:00.12. He beat Paul Koech (2nd) by over 10 seconds and notched another 10+ second victory over Birech (actually, 20+ this time). At this point, it's no longer a competition between Birech and Kipruto--4-for-4 in the Diamond League, two consecutive 10+ second victories--at least not this season. The sub-8:00 mark still eludes him, but that doesn't seem to affect his ability to win races.
Just before the race, rumors came through Twitter that Asbel Kiprop asked the rabbits to come through 800m in 1:51. And the rabbit--Andrew Rotich--did in fact come through in 1:51 with Kiprop right there. Running solo for the last two laps, Kiprop didn't fall off pace much at all, winning in 3:29.33, nearly four second ahead of Abdelaati Iguider in second. 2016 is shaping up to be the year of individual dominance with Kiprop in the 1500m, Kipruto in the steeple, and, likely Farah in the 5k and 10k on the men's side. For women, Caster Semenya, Genzebe Dibaba, and Almaz Ayana are far enough ahead of their respective fields that it doesn't make much sense to worry about any of them losing.
Caster Semenya's performance this year has obscured the fact that Francine Niyonsaba, coming off winning the event indoors, has been nothing short of fantastic. She had an opportunity to shine today in a Semenya-less field and did so, leading the entire post-rabbit race.
The Americans did not have the best performance of their careers in this race. Although five women broke 2:00 in Birmingham, none of the three Americans did. While there's some optimism to be found in Ajee Wilson's 2:00.81 season-best effort, she was never really in the race and looked as flat as she has throughout this young season. We're still a month out from the U.S. Trials and two months out from the Olympics, so a lot can change.
Ameer Webb had a chance to go head-to-head with Andre de Grasse and show that he can really hang with the best in the world. Instead, after a pretty heavy schedule of racing so far, Webb faltered, running only 20.62 for 5th place.
But the race itself was very exciting. In Webb's absence, Alonso Edward emerged as a challenger to de Grasse, and actually led the race throughout most of the final stretch. However, de Grasse was too strong over the last 50-70m and was able to pull ahead of Edward, to win in 20.16, a good time to run this year. Here is Edward trying his darnedest to hold off de Grasse at the line:
David Rudisha, after talking a big game before the meet of going after the 600m world record of 1:12.86, came closer than anyone has to that time with a 1:13.10 performance. Surprisingly, Pierre-Ambroise Bosse was right on his heels in 1:13.21. TV coverage would certainly have been nice for this.
Mo Farah ran a two-second personal-best in the 3000m to win by over 11 seconds. His time of 7:32.62 is a British record, but that Farah is setting British records in distance events shouldn't exactly be considered cause to stop the presses.
The Diamond League will be back in action Thursday from Oslo, Norway.