Lopes-Schliep wins Diamond League title
Priscilla Lopes-Schliep became the first Canadian to win a Diamond League title on Friday, winning the 100 metre hurdles Friday in Brussels.
Lopes-Schliep crossed in 12.54 seconds at the Memorial Van Damme competition, beating Sally Pearson of Australia. Former world champion Perdita Felicien of Pickering, Ont., was third, with Lolo Jones of the U.S. finished fifth.
Lopes-Schliep and Jones, good friends, were tied with 14 points heading into the last race. The winner receives the Diamond Race Trophy, a four-carat diamond worth $80,000 US and a $40,000 cash prize.
"Season's done," Lopes-Schliep said. "I can have some dessert now."
The Whitby, Ont., native trailed Jones in the standings heading into the London Grand Prix on Aug. 13 but proceeded to run the fastest time of the year at that event, 12.52.
She kept up the momentum with wins in Zurich and Berlin, although neither race was part of the Diamond series.
The inaugural Diamond League is an expansion of the previous Golden League series.
"Great turnout, great atmosphere, I definitely fed off of that," Lopes-Schliep said. "Overall I had a pretty good night."
Dylan Armstrong, of Kamloops, B.C., finished fourth in the men's shot put competition, which was won by Reese Hoffa of the U.S.
American Christian Cantwell was defeated for just the second time this year, but was still the runaway leader in the Diamond shot put standings.
U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay took the 100 in 9.79 seconds, winning the trophy as well. Nesta Carter set a personal best with a time of 9.85.
Earlier this summer, Gay handed world record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica his first defeat in two years. Bolt days later shut down his season due to injuries.
Allyson Felix of the U.S. is the only double winner in the inaugural Diamond League season, taking honours in both the 200 and 400. She had already wrapped up that claim last week, but for good measure ran 22.61 seconds to take the 200 on Friday, with compatriot Shalonda Solomon pushing her all the way.
The women's 800 metre Diamond Race Trophy was up for grabs heading into the last race, and Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya took it with a victory in 1:58.82.
Caster Semenya of South Africa finished third in the race, her first appearance on the Diamond circuit. Semenya, the subject of gender controversy after bursting onto the world scene with a dominant win at the 2009 Berlin championships, ran from the back of the pack before passing most of the competitors over the last 400 metres.
David Rudisha of Kenya, four days removed from setting a world record time of 1:41.09 in the men's 800, collected the Diamond Race Trophy. He was two seconds off the blistering time he set in Berlin on Sunday.
Beijing Olympic gold winner Asbel Kiprop topped fellow Kenyan Augustine Kiprono Choge in the battle for the 1,500 trophy with a win. Leonel Manzano of the U.S. had a strong showing, finishing second.
Croatian high jump star Blanka Vlasic closed out her Diamond championship style, winning the event with a height of two metres, with Bershawn Jackson of the U.S. wrapping up the 400 hurdles title with a clear victory.
Yargelis Savigne of Cuba and Olga Rypakova found themselves tied with 22 points in the series after the Kazakh athlete won the triple jump on Friday. Savigne took the Diamond Race Trophy on the basis of fewer losses.
World champion Vivian Cheuiyot of Kenya overtook Sentayehu Ejigu of Ethiopia in the women's 5,000 metres standings with a Belgian victory on the King Baudouin track.
Sandra Perkovic of Croatia finished second to Yorelis Barrios in the overall standings but beat the Cuban in the Brussels event.
Milcah Chemos Cheivwa of Kenya already had the women's 3,000 metre steeplechase trophy wrapped up, and went on to finish second in Friday's race to Sofia Assefeh of Ethiopia.
Renaud Lavillenie and Teddy Tamgho of France took the men's pole vault and triple jump season titles, respectively, while two-time Olympic gold winner Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway was a dominant winner in the javelin.
Several Diamond Race winners were crowned in Zurich last week.