Canada’s Aaron Brown won the first men’s 100 metre race of the Diamond League season with an underwhelming show in Birmingham on Saturday, after two false starts saw top contender Trayvon Bromell and local hope Zharnel Hughes disqualified.
Brown clocked in at 10.13 seconds, a minor improvement from his ‘B’ race earlier when he managed 10.23 behind Jeremiah Azu, as the marquee event of the meet came to an anti-climactic finish when American Bromell and Hughes jumped the gun.
“I’m glad I won this one and not the first one, if I had to choose,” Brown said. “I felt good. My plan was to get a training day in. I have to run in the relay, so three runs in one Diamond League is a record but I love it.”
Former world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica finished second at 10.18 seconds while Canada’s Jerome Blake took bronze with an effort of 10.20 seconds. His fellow Canadian Andre De Grasse was fourth after a disappointing run.
Britain’s 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith finished strongly to seal a tight women’s 100m race at 11.11 seconds, edging out Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson by a hundredth of a second. Briton Daryll Neita took bronze with 11.14.
“I could have done a few things differently… but I’m very happy to win in this temperature and against this field,” Asher-Smith said after prevailing in overcast conditions.
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah had pulled out of the meet earlier this week after the Jamaican experienced discomfort in training, denying the Birmingham crowd of a showdown between the last two women’s 100m Diamond League champions.
Tokyo Games 1,500m silver medallist Laura Muir marked her first race of the season following a back problem with a solid show to claim gold in the women’s event, ahead of Australia’s Jessica Hull and Kenya’s Winny Chebet.
Roared on by the crowd at the Alexander Stadium, redeveloped for this year’s Commonwealth Games starting on July 28, the 29-year-old Briton turned on the after-burners towards the end to cross the line at 4:02.81.
“To come here and win in my first race of the season, I’m really happy. The win was more important than the time as it was quite windy out there,” Muir said. “It was solid and running from the front too.”
World champion Dalilah Muhammad won the 400m hurdles final at a time of 54.54 seconds, the American finishing well ahead of Ukrainians Viktoriya Tkachuk and Anna Ryzhykova who were second and third, respectively.
Canada’s Django Lovett produced an upset in the men’s high jump, beating Olympic champion Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy by clearing 2.28 metres. Tamberi managed only 2.25 metres.
Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment won the men’s 110m hurdles with a world-leading 13.09 seconds, while Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum set a meet record with 14:47.55 en route to the women’s 5,000m gold.
The Diamond League action shifts to the United States next Saturday with the third meet of the season in Eugene, Oregon, where the World Championships take place in July.