Pair of season bests propel Aaron Brown to top-3 finishes at Diamond League Final
Toronto native 2nd in 200m, 3rd in 100m; Marco Arop places 2nd in 800m
Canada's Aaron Brown accomplished what he set out to do at the Diamond League Final — and then some.
The Toronto native, who'd never achieved a top-three finish at the season-ending track and field event, placed second in the 200 metres and third in the 100 metres on Thursday in Zurich.
Brown told CBC Sports earlier this week he was "eager" to land a top-three finish in Switzerland for the first time in his career. The 30-year-old, who led off Canada's golden 4x100m relay team at July's world championships, balanced his schedule between the two distances for the first time this season.
In the final race of the day, the 200m, Brown maintained a steady pace out of Lane 2 to eke out a season-best time of 20.02 seconds, one one-hundredth faster than the time he ran at nationals in June.
WATCH | Brown 3rd in 200m:
The time was also good enough to beat out the Dominican Republic's Alex Ogando in a photo finish. American Noah Lyles, the world gold medallist, won again as the only competitor to break the 20-second mark at 19.52.
Canada's Andre De Grasse, the reigning Olympic gold medallist in the distance, placed sixth in 20.43 in his first competition since July's world championships amid struggles with COVID-19 and injury.
In the 100m, Brown equalled his season best of 10.06 seconds to place third behind champion Trayvon Bromell of the U.S. (9.94) and Yohan Blake of Jamaica (10.05).
De Grasse placed last in the weakened eight-man field at 10.21 seconds. Olympic gold medallist Lamont Marcell Jacobs and world champion Fred Kerley both did not run.
Brown also ran 10.06 at worlds in July, which landed him an eighth-place finish.
WATCH | Brown places 3rd in 100m:
Fellow Canadian Marco Arop placed second in the 800m when he was passed in the final 50m by world no. 1 Emmanuel Korir of Kenya.
The Edmontonian ran a season-best time of one minute 43.38 seconds. He moved to the front of the pack with about 200m remaining, but was slowly reeled in by Korir, who crossed in 1:43.26, the best time in the world this season.
With the victory, Korir walks away with a diamond-shaped trophy, $30,000 US and an automatic berth in next summer's world championships in Budapest.
Great Britain's Jake Wightman placed third in 1:44.10.
WATCH | Korir tops Arop in 800m:
Fraser-Pryce caps dominant season with victory
Earlier, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce stormed to victory in the women's 100m to claim her fifth win in the season-ending event.
Cheered on by more than 25,000 fans the Letzigrund Stadium, Fraser-Pryce avenged a rare defeat by fellow Jamaican Shericka Jackson in Brussels last week to cross the finish line in a blistering time of 10.65 seconds.
WATCH | Fraser-Pryce wins women's 100m:
Jackson was second in 10.81 and Ivorian Marie-Josée Ta Lou took third in 10.91.
"I'm really looking forward to my next season and I'd love to come again," said Fraser-Pryce, who became the first woman to run below 10.70 seven times in the same season.
"I'm just excited... to have won. I'm feeling good to be able to compete. This was remarkable and I'm very proud that I came away with 10.65 — I started with a 10.6 and finish with a 10.6 so there's nothing more I could ask for."
American Sha'Carri Richardson placed seventh in 11.13.
Jackson made up for her earlier disappointment by taking the 200m title in 21.80, with the world champion comfortably beating Americans Gabrielle Thomas (22.38) and Tamara Clark (22.42) for her first Diamond trophy.
WATCH | Jackson wins women's 200m:
With files from Reuters