Thomas Barr finishes third at Stockholm Diamond League

Thomas Barr finishes third at Stockholm Diamond League

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.

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.

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