Thomas Barr’s encouraging start to the season has continued by finishing third at the Stockholm Diamond League meeting tonight.
On a night where bitterly cold and squally conditions affected some events in the Swedish capital, Barr clocked a reasonable 50.28 seconds in a 400m hurdles showpiece won by European and world champion Karsten Warholm of Norway.
Barr was well down the field early on, and needed his trademark final-straight kick to fend off Britain’s Seb Rodger and Kenneth Selmon of the United States to hold onto his top-three position.
Warholm completely dominated, winning in 47.85 seconds - not a world lead but still only 0.21 off his lifetime best - as a long summer of racing begins, building up to the World Championships in Doha at the end of September.
American TJ Holmes came home second in 49.25, almost a second-and-a-half behind Warholm.
Barr’s time was almost a second slower than the 49.41 he recorded at the previous Diamond League meeting in Shanghai – his fastest ever season opener.
A not so good time in not so good conditions, but racking up some good race practice and diamond league points. Same time again next week we go again! 🙌🏼 https://t.co/gz955y68wQ— Thomas Barr (@TomBarr247) May 30, 2019
Britain’s triple European champion Dina Asher-Smith claimed the scalps of Elaine Thompson and Dafne Schippers in recording a world lead 22.18 in the women’s 200m – the fastest time she’s ever run outside of a Championships.
Asher-Smith admitted to SVT Swedish television after her win: “I wasn’t expecting that kind of time.”
Kenya’s former World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop also impressed with a world lead in the women’s 5000m, setting a new standard of 14:50.82, taking 16 seconds off the previous mark held by Rachel Schneider of the USA.
But a compatriot of Tirop produced probably the performance of the night in the final event of the night at the Olympic Stadium.
Rhonex Kipruto cracked out 26:50.16 in the men’s 10000m to demolish the previous world lead by 46 seconds, in what was a non-Diamond League event that took place after the main two-hour block of international action.
The 19-year-old’s remarkable time was 17 seconds faster than Richard Chelimo’s meeting record from 1993.
Kipruto’s previous PB had been 27:21.08, and he becomes a prime contender for a medal in Doha – if Kenya pick him.