• Diamond League

Farah cruises to victory on return

ESPN staff
August 26, 2012
Mo Farah celebrates as he wins the two-mile race © PA Photos

Olympic champion Mo Farah made a winning return to competition as he enjoyed another victory in front of his home fans in a two-mile race at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.

Returning to competition for the first time since his double triumph at London 2012, Farah celebrated with his signature 'Mobot' salute after crossing the line in a time of 8:27.24.

It had been reported that Farah would attempt to break Steve Ovett's 34-year-old British record, but Farah, whose wife Tania gave birth to twin girls on Friday, was content to dictate an easy pace at the front heading into the final lap.

However, when Bobby Curtis threatened to overtake on the final bend, Farah responded and left his rivals trailing in his wake as he streaked to victory.

There was no such homecoming win for Greg Rutherford, as the Olympic long jump champion came crashing back to earth with a bump - his best leap of 7.88m only good enough for third behind Aleksandr Menkov and Christian Taylor.

Robbie Grabarz got the better of Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov to win the men's high jump. The European champion and Olympic bronze medallist, who equalled the British record (2.37m) in Lausanne on Thursday, attempted to set an outright national record with 2.38m but ultimately 2.32m was enough to secure victory.

Perri Shakes-Drayton beat Olympic champion Natalya Antuykh as she won the women's 400m hurdles following the disqualification of Diamond League leader Kaliese Spencer. The Brit crossed the line in second in a time of 54.08 but was bumped up after Spencer was disqualified for an illegal clearance of a hurdle.

Olympic silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu was once against forced to settle for second as she finished behind Jamaica's Rosemarie White in the women's 400m, while Carmelita Jeter avenged her Olympic defeat to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as she powered to victory in the women's 100m.

Sprint rivals Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake may be avoiding having to race each other, but Olympic 100m champion Fraser-Pryce and silver medalist Jeter renewed their rivalry in Birmingham's Alexander Stadium.

Fraser-Pryce was slow out of the blocks and was unable to close the gap on Jeter, who clocked 10.81 seconds, the pair finishing well clear of the field, which featured Britain's Anyika Onuora.

Adam Gemili set a new lifetime best in to finish sixth in the men's 200m. Nickel Ashmeade produced a late charge to snatch victory from Tyson Gay in a time of 20.12 seconds, while Britain's Christian Malcolm finished seventh.

Hannah England finished outside the medals as she ran out of steam in the women's 1500m. England, who has struggled with injury all season and failed to reach the Olympic final, was well placed as she led the field heading into the final bend, but could not produce her signature sprint finish as American Anna Pierce came through to take the victory ahead of Britain's Laura Weightman, while Canada's Hillary Stellingwerff pipped England by one hundredth of a second.

Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams failed to make an impact in the men's 400m in a race won by hurdles specialist Angelo Taylor, who outsprinted Olympic silver medalist Luguelin Santos to the line with Jonathan Borlee in third.

Olympic champion Aries Merritt lived up to his status as the fastest sprint hurdler in the world as he powered to victory in the men's 110m hurdles ahead of compatriot Jason Richardson. Merritt crossed the line in 12.95 seconds ahead of world champion Richardson and David Oliver, who finished third to complete an American clean sweep.

Marilyn Okoro finished third in the women's 800m behind Olympic champion Mariya Savinova and Pamela Jelimo, while Julia Bleasdale ran a personal best to finish sixth in the women's 3000m.

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