By Israel La Rue
Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen broke his second world record of the Diamond League season on Friday, running the 2,000 meters in 4:43.13 at the Brussels Diamond League meet to break the mark of 4:44.79 set in 1999 by Hicham El Guerrouj.
“It’s always fun to break a record,” Ingebrigtsen said. “To be honest, this record wasn’t a difficult one for me.”
Two other stars, Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson and Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis, also attempted world records but fell just short in the final regular-season Diamond League meet before the Diamond League final, which is Sept. 16-17 at The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.
Jackson ran 21.48 to win the women’s 200 meters in the fourth-fastest time in history, a Diamond League record, but she fell short of Florence Griffith Joyner’s world record of 21.34.
“I definitely feel like I’m getting there,” Jackson said. “Closer to that record.”
Duplantis won the men’s pole vault with a meet-record leap of 6.10 meters, and he just missed on his third attempt at 6.23m, which would have broken his own world record by one centimeter.
“I had it in me to jump the world record today, and I really thought that I was going to do it,” Duplantis said. “It’s a shame.”
The meet was the last opportunity to earn qualifying points for the Diamond League final. The top eight in each event will be invited to compete in Eugene.
Ingebrigtsen competed for the first time since the World Athletics Championships, where he was outkicked in the 1,500 meters but came back to win the 5,000. He ran behind the pacesetters, who were tasked with setting a world-record pace.
“I got great help from the pacesetters,” Ingebrigtsen said. “Actually, they were able to help me more than I expected.”
The pace of the first two laps was 56 seconds, and once the pacesetters stepped off the track it was up to Ingebrigtsen to keep up with the green pace lights, which were set to El Guerrouj’s world record.
In the final 200 meters, Ingebrigtsen picked up speed and left the green lights and the competition behind. The rest of the field either finished with a personal best or a season’s best.
The Diamond League points are added to the 1,500-meter standings, so Ingebrigtsen now has 40 points, 11 points ahead of second place. Runner-up Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot, who finished in 4:48.14, a Kenyan national record, is fourth in the standings with 14 points, and third-place finisher Stewart McSweyn, who finished in an area record 4:48.77, is sixth in the standings with 13 points.
Jackson dominated her race. Her personal best of 21.41, set in her gold medal race at Budapest, is just .07 offGriffith-Joyner’s world record, which she said in the pre-meet press conference that she was looking to break.
Jackson shot out of the blocks from lane six, immediately passing by Daryll Neita, who was in lane seven. And she powered down the final 100 meters with no one near her for her fourth 200-meter Diamond League win of the season. She has now run the second, third and fourth-fastest 200 meters by a woman.
“It has been a good season, and I hope to get one more win and to get closer to that record,” she said. Jackson sits atop the Diamond League standings with 32 points.
Second-place finisher Anthonique Strachan, who finished in 22.31,is third in the standings with 22 points, and third-place finisher Jenna Prandini, who finished in 22.47, is seventh in the standings with 11 points.
Duplantis, reigning Olympic and back-to-back world champion, came away disappointed to have only broken the meet record.
He needed only one attempt to clear each of the first five marks and won the competition at 6.02m, but once he tried jumping over the 6.23m mark he had his first failed attempt of the day. He had chosen to try another height before going for the world record.
“I wanted a mark in between with the 6.10m, and that took a little bit out of me,” he said. “Maybe even a little bit too much.”
Duplantis is in first place in the qualification standings with 45 points, 14 points ahead of American Sam Kendricks, who finished second at 5.92m. Third-place finisher Ernest John Obiena, who cleared 5.92m as well, is fourth in the standings with 26 points.
In the women’s 100 meters, five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah got her first Diamond League season win by running a season’s best of 10.84. She also ran sub-11 four days ago in Bellinzona.
“It was a tough season, but I’m glad that I’m back in my sprinting form,” Thompson-Herah said.
Thompson-Herah is ninth in the qualification standings with 14 points. Second-place finisher Natasha Morrison, who finished in 10.95, a season’s best, also has 14 points but is 11th in the standings. Third-place finisher Dina Asher-Smith, who finished in 10.97, is fourth in the standings with 24 points.
In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, Femke Bol, reigning world champion, ran a meet record of 52.11 for her fifth Diamond League win of the season.
“It is my second-best performance in a DL this year and my third-fastest time,” Bol said. “I am super happy about this.”
Even though it was her second-best race in the Diamond League season, it wasn’t her cleanest. Bol hit a few hurdles but recovered, roaring down the home straight and finishing well ahead of the competition as she’s done all season.
She’s first in the qualification standings with 40 points. Second-place finisher Janieve Russell, who finished in 53.80, is third in the standings with 30 points, and third-place finisher Rushell Clayton, who finished in 54.10, is behind Bol in the standings with 36 points.
“The DL final in Eugene is the most important competition outside the championships, so I am excited about this one,” Bol said.
In the women’s javelin, the newly crowned world champion Haruka Kitaguchi set a national record, world lead and personal best on her last throw of 67.38m.
Kitaguchi is at the top of the Diamond League standings with 31 points. Second-place finisher Victoria Hudson, who threw a season’s best of 64.65m, is sixth with 11 points, and third-place finisher Lina Muze-Sirma, who threw 63m, is third with 12 points.
“I still have some goals to chase this season,” Kitaguchi said. “I hope to throw over 68m, maybe at the Diamond League final. I will do my best to achieve it there.