Sarah Mitton denied Diamond League Trophy for 2nd straight year by record-setting Chase Ealey
Canadian 2nd with 19.94m throw while rival's 20.76 effort sets meet, U.S. record
World silver medallist Sarah Mitton of Brooklyn, N.S., ended another spectacular shot put season with her 14th top-two finish in 17 events, placing second to American Chase Ealey at the Diamond League Final, as she did a year ago.
Mitton, who had a best throw of 19.94 metres on Saturday in Eugene, Ore., led the six-woman competition until Ealey stepped into the circle in the second round at sunny Hayward Field and threw a season world-leading 20.61, also a meet and United States record.
She then lengthened her personal best to 20.76 before not registering a throw on her final three attempts.
"That was something really important to me this season," Ealey told reporters of the American mark. "I've been wanting to do it all season and I told my coach I was gonna do it this meet.
"I have good people around me and I think that's really important. It's really made my throwing a lot better and everything better as a whole."
"I wonder how we beat Chase. She was the class of the field," Mitton's coach, Rich Parkinson, told CBC Sports shortly after the competition. "I have my work cut out for me."
Ealey, 29, earned the Diamond League Trophy and $30,000 US top prize for her performance while Mitton takes home $12,000.
It’s an American Record in the Shot Put for two-time World Champion, Chase Ealey 🇺🇸<br><br>What. A. Throw… <a href="https://t.co/ao70mrUBQr">pic.twitter.com/ao70mrUBQr</a>—@ThrowersUni
After her 19.94 effort, Mitton dropped to 19.79 on her third throw. She didn't record a measurement on her fourth before going 19.34 and 19.93 to end the competition.
"I think Sarah had an awesome series," Parkinson said. "She had an excellent day and I'm very proud of her.
WATCH | Mitton throws 19.94m for 2nd at Diamond League Final:
Cameroon-Portuguese athlete Auriol Dongmo, who topped all qualifiers for the Final with 25 points through the season, was third Saturday with a 19.92 PB. Jessica Schilder of the Netherlands threw a 19.88 season best for fourth, followed by American Maggie Ewen (19.82) and Jamaica's Danniel Thomas-Dodd (19.17).
"Chase ruined a very tight competition," said Parkinson, laughing. "All six women over 19 metres, and the top five over 19.80. The battle for second through fifth was incredible."
Mitton beat Ealey for 1st Diamond League win
Mitton, who is ranked second in the world, secured a spot at her second Final by throwing 19.76 on Sept. 7 in Brussels, where Ealey, the 2021 Olympic champion, tossed 20.05.
In June, the Canadian record holder beat Ealey at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, for her first Diamond League win. She also prevailed in a head-to-head match in February, defeating the top-ranked Ealey in Madrid at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series meet.
“Really consistent…just hoping to build off of that for next year,” Mitton says after her Diamond League Final 🥈<br><br>🎤 with Sarah Mitton after a great year in Women’s Shot Put, but she has big plans for 2024!<br><br>🎥: kenny.zhong <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DiamondLeague?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DiamondLeague</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DiamondLeagueFinal?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DiamondLeagueFinal</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PreClassic?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PreClassic</a> <a href="https://t.co/WZIQpOvEYS">pic.twitter.com/WZIQpOvEYS</a>—@AthleticsCanada
After Mitton won world silver with a 20.08 SB, her coach Rich Parkinson noted the Toronto resident's pathway has accelerated only due to her work ethic.
"It hasn't been easy, but she has learned how to compete," said Parkinson of Mitton, the first-ever Canadian woman to pick up a medal at the event.
Mitton will take a break before returning to training Oct. 1 in preparation for the Pan Am Games, which run Oct. 20 through Nov. 5 in Santiago, Chile.
WATCH | Full coverage of Saturday's events from Hayward Field in Oregon:
On Sunday in Eugene, middle-distance runner Marco Arop, along with sprinters Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse, will look to become the first Canadian to be crowned Diamond League champion since Dylan Armstrong in shot put in 2011.
Arop, the world champion in the men's 800 metres, races at 3:04 p.m. ET, fresh off a second-place finish at a Diamond League meet in Xiamen, China. He clocked a 1:43.24 PB — only 4-100ths of a second behind winner and world No. 1 Emmanuel Wanyonyi of Kenya, who is also in Sunday's eight-man field.
'Hungrier than ever'
Last September, Arop was fresh off earning world bronze when he made a move with one lap to go at the Diamond League Final in Zurich. He led into the final straight but was caught by Kenya's Emmanuel Korir fewer than 10 metres from the finish line, placing second to the reigning Olympic champion in a season-best 1:43.38. He was fourth in 2021, clocking 1:45.23.
"I feel last year was so close," he told CBC Sports this week, "and it left me hungrier than ever. Worlds is great and everything above it, but to end the season as a Diamond League champion would solidify this year as my greatest."
WATCH | Arop runs personal-best 1:43.24 in China:
Relay teammates Brown and De Grasse geared up for the men's 200 at 5:36 p.m. with their fastest races in the event in two years — 19.89 and 19.98 seconds, respectively in Brussels.
"It was exactly what I needed and came at a great time because it reinforced my belief about the type of shape I'm in and what's possible for me going into [the 2024 Paris Olympics]," said Brown, who was disqualified in the 200 at worlds due to a lane infringement.
De Grasse, who won Olympic gold two years ago, was sixth (20.43) in last year's season-ending race after battling COVID-19 and a toe injury. The 28-year-old Markham, Ont., sprinter was second in the sprint double at the 2021 Final.
Brown, 31, was second to Noah Lyles (19.52) in the 200 at last year's Final, clocking a 20.02 season best to edge Alex Ogando of the Dominican Republic in a photo finish. Brown had never finished among the top three in the event at the Final, placing fourth for four consecutive years from 2017-2021.
Sprinters Coleman, Jackson upset world champs
American Christian Coleman stunned world champion Noah Lyles to win the men's 100 as Jamaican Shericka Jackson took the women's title.
Coleman missed out on the podium at worlds in Budapest but broke the tape in a blistering 9.83 seconds as fellow American Lyles finished second in 9.85. Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala took third.
WATCH | Coleman gains measure of revenge against Lyles in Eugene:
Coleman, the 2018 Diamond League champion, exploded off the blocks and Lyles was unable to overcome a slower start.
"I was able to just find a sense of confidence and believe in myself, like I knew I was supposed to win this race," said Coleman.
Lyles is the first male athlete since Jamaican Usain Bolt to win gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at the world championships.
Jamaican Jackson finished second at worlds behind American Sha'Carri Richardson but took the lead in the last half of the women's 100 on Saturday before breaking the tape in 10.70.
- OpinionShericka Jackson's pursuit of Flo-Jo's 200m world record is Diamond League Final's main attraction
Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou was 5-100ths of a second slower and Jackson's compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah, the back-to-back Olympic champion, took third in 10.79.
"I just wanted to come out here and execute and I think I did pretty good this evening," said Jackson."I just started sprinting in 2021 and to be among these great female sprinters is a good feeling."
WATCH | Jackson clocks 10.70 seconds to top Ta Lou:
In other events:
- American Rai Benjamin got the track program off to a roaring start as he stunned world record-holder Karsten Warholm in the 400 hurdles. World champion Warholm was a strong favourite after claiming three Diamond League wins this year but Benjamin finished strongly to clock 46.39 seconds, the year's best time and fourth-fastest ever. Norway's Olympic champion Warholm was second in 46.53 and Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands took third in 47.31.
- Kenya's Faith Kipyegon, who this year became the first woman to complete a 1,500-5,000 double at the world championships, sparkled again as she won the 1,500 in 3:50.72.
- Grenadian three-time Olympic medallist Kirani James won the men's 400 in 44.30 as world bronze medallist Quincy Hall of the United States finished second in 44.44.
With files from Reuters