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Sun 2 Sep 2018 10:49 AM

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Bahrain's Salwa Eid Naser wins 400m in AAF Diamond League

'New boss' Coleman scorches to seventh fastest 100m time in the blue riband event

Bahrain's Salwa Eid Naser wins 400m in AAF Diamond League
Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain wins the Women's 400m race during the IAAF Diamond League AG Memorial Van Damme at King Baudouin Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.

Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser won the women’s 400m at the AAF Diamond League event in Brussels on Friday.

Nigerian-born Salwa Eid Naser, hot off the plane after winning two golds for Bahrain in the ongoing Asian Games in Indonesia, won the 400m in 49.33sec ahead of American Phyllis Francis.

"I felt a little jetlagged," said Naser. "But my goal was to win the Diamond trophy and I did just that. It's been a good season and this victory makes it complete."

American Christian Coleman set the seventh-fastest 100m time of all time as he snatched the Diamond League trophy for the blue riband event in scintillating style.

Coleman, the world record holder over 60m indoors and world 100m silver medallist in London last year, clocked a personal best of 9.79 seconds, the fastest 100m run since the now-retired Usain Bolt won the 2015 world title in Beijing. Only Bolt and fellow Jamaicans Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter, and the US duo of Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin have gone quicker.

Ronnie Baker had been tipped as the one to beat at the King Baudouin II stadium, but a dreadful start left him trailing the entire field before eventually finding his rhythm to push through behind Coleman in 9.93sec.

"Winning the Diamond League with a personal record, it's like icing on the cake," said the 22-year-old Coleman.

"It means a lot to notch my name in the sport and have my name among some of the greats."

The American said his time overshadowed his showing in the 60m in the Birmingham world indoors in March, which was followed by a right hamstring injury that curtailed his training and competitive appearances.

"I now feel pretty good, I came into the whole weekend with a huge chip on my shoulder because people stopped talking about me, about all that I'd done this year," the Kentucky-based athlete said.

"I was just injured, and I used that as fuel to the fire. I felt like I could go out there and do a personal best."

Coleman added: "With the world lead and Diamond trophy, I guess I'm at the top of the leaderboard at the moment... the 'new boss'."

Touted as the strongest men's pole vault field ever, with five of the 12 finalists having cleared the mythical 6m-barrier, the competition petered out for French world record holder Renaud Lavillenie and Swedish teenager Armand Duplantis, who won European gold in Berlin last month with 6.05m.

It came down instead to a battle between American Sam Hendricks and Russian Timur Morgunov, the latter eventually winning with 5.93m.

Ibarguen double

Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen, fresh from winning the overall triple jump title in Zurich on Thursday, also claimed the long jump trophy with a best of 6.80m.

It meant she became the first non-sprinter in history to win two Diamond trophies in one year, four sprinters having already achieved the feat.

Portugal's Pedro Pablo Pichardo notched up 17.49m to beat American Christian Taylor in the men's triple jump and Bahamas' Shaunae Miller-Uibo won the women's 200m in 22.12sec ahead of double defending world champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands.

Croatia's all-conquering discus thrower Sandra Perkovic - two-time world and Olympic champion and five-time Eurpean gold medallist - suffered a blip when she could only finish third, 69cm behind winner Yaime Perez of Cuba (65.00m).

"Stupid things sometimes happen, but that is sports," said a 'flu-hit Perkovic, who could not resist a dig at organisers after seeing her streak of 15 victories come to a halt.

"This is my eighth final and I won seven of them. This Diamond League should not be awarded in one final."

Kenya enjoyed a good night as Beatrice Chepkoech took the spoils in the women's 3000m steeplechase and Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir the men's 800m.

Selemon Barega led home a quintet of Ethiopians in the 5000m, while Australian Brandon Starc won the high jump with 2.33m and Britain's newly-crowned European champion Laura Muir took the 1500m.

Sergey Shubenkov, the Russian competing under a neutral flag as his country remains banned over a state-sponsored doping programme, won the 110m hurdles in 12.97sec and American Brianna McNeal the 100m hurdles in 12.61.

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