Mondo Duplantis and Christine Mboma shine at Brussels Diamond League

Duplantis set a new pole vault meeting record of 6.05m as Namibia's teenage 200m star defeated Dina Asher-Smith and Sha'Carri Richardson at the Memorial Van Damme.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Mondo Duplantis and Christine Mboma were the standout performers at the Brussels leg of the 2021 Diamond League, the Memorial Van Damme, on Friday (3 September).

Having already won the pole vault, Duplantis cleared 6.05m with his third attempt to break his own stadium record in the last series event before next week's Zurich Diamond League Final.

After a lengthy delay caused by a measuring defect, the Swede attempted what would have been a new world record of 6.19m.

But even with the whole of the crowd inside the King Baudoin Stadium cheering him on, Duplantis had three failures meaning the history books will have to rewritten another day.

Olympic silver medallist Chris Nilsen was second ahead of fellow American KC Lightfoot on countback with both men successful at 5.85m.

Meanwhile, Namibia's Christine Mboma kept up her excellent recent form with victory in the 200m.

The Tokyo silver medallist produced her trademark fast finish to win in 21.84, the same time as she recorded in the U20 World Championship in Nairobi two weeks ago and just three-hundredths outside her world junior record set in the Tokyo final.

Jamaica's double Olympic medallist Shericka Jackson was second in 21.95 with reigning world champion Dina Asher-Smith running a season's best of 22.04 in third.

American hopeful Sha’Carri Richardson needed a win to make next week's Diamond League Final, but could only finish fourth in 22.45.

Mboma's conqueror in Tokyo, Elaine Thompson-Herah, withdrew earlier in the week with discomfort in a tendon but is expected to be fit for Zurich.

Dutch star Sifan Hassan was a wide-margin winner in the women's mile but could not trouble her own world record of 4:12.33 set in Monaco in July 2019.

Despite having two pacemakers and Wavelight technology to assist her, the double Olympic champion from Tokyo was more than two seconds outside with a time of 4:14.71 although that was a meeting record and the fastest time in the world this year.

Axumawit Embaye of Ethiopia was next, more than six seconds adrift, just ahead of Australia's 1500m Olympic finalist Linden Hall.

Hassan said afterwards, "I'm really happy with the time. After Tokyo I was so tired so I just wanted to run the short distance. My goal was to run fast here tonight and that is what I did.

"I was not thinking about the world record although I knew I was on world record pace in the beginning. But in the middle, it slowed down a bit. It does not matter.

"I am not running any long distances anymore this year. In Zurich I will run the 1500m."

That almost certainly means a mouthwatering rematch with Kenya's reigning two-time Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon.

Francine Niyonsaba continued her successful reinvention as a long-distance runner with a new Burundian national record of 14:25.34, almost 30 seconds inside her previous personal best, to win the 5000m.

The Rio 2016 800m silver medallist switched to longer distances after being found to have elevated testosterone levels, and she produced a devastating sprint finish to win from Ethiopia's Ejgayehu Taye and Kenya's two-time Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri.

Niyonsaba said, "It was fantastic to run here. I enjoyed every second of it and the national record is the cherry on top. To be able to run for a crowd was funny. It really helped me.

"I still do not know if I like long distances more than the 800m, but I love challenges. I won't think too much about it because it is what it is. I'm still learning and am sure that I can go a lot faster in the future."

Michael Cherry was an impressive winner of the 400m after just missing out on the individual podium in Tokyo.

The relay gold medallist clocked a new personal best of 44.03 to break fellow American Michael Johnson's meeting record by three-hundredths of a second.

Grenada's Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist, and London 2012 champion, Kirani James was second ahead of Isaac Makwala of Botswana.

Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh won an exciting high jump with three women clearing two metres.

The three medalists from Tokyo all ended up on the podium again but in a different order with Mahuchikh's first-time clearance at 2.02m proving decisive.

Olympic champion Mariya Lasitskene was second with 2.00m finishing ahead of Australia's Nicola McDermott on countback

Home favourite Nafi Thiam, fresh from successfully defending her heptathlon title in Tokyo, was sixth after equalling her season's best of 1.92m.

Olympic silver medallist Fred Kerley came through late to take his first win in the 100m since May's Ostrava Golden Spike.

Trayvon Bromell started best with Tokyo 400m finalist Michael Norman chasing, but Kerley took over in the closing metres and crossed the line in front in 9.94.

Bromell was second in 9.97 with Norman clocking a season's best of 9.98 in third.

Kerley told the media, "I'm happy with the win, but I'm not satisfied with my race. I didn't execute the race how I wanted. That gives me working points because I always want to be better."

Speaking about his second place in Tokyo behind Italian outsider Marcell Jacobs, he said, "People say that his win was a surprise, but everybody works so hard to be the best and to be ready for the championships so there are no surprises.

"I'm very happy with the silver medal I won because it makes me one of the fastest sprinters in the world."

In the absence of Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Stewart McSweyn dug deep to win the 1500m in 3:33.20.

Spain's Mo Katir took the lead just after the bell but faded badly in the home straight as McSweyn won from fellow Australian Oliver Hoare with Poland's Michal Rozmys in third.

Nadine Visser got the better of two women who finished in front of her in Tokyo to take the 100m hurdles.

The Dutchwoman edged out Nigeria's Tobi Amusan as both women clocked 12.69, with Tokyo bronze medallist Megan Tapper of Jamaica third in 12.77.

Jamaica's Natoya Goule edged out Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson to win the women's 800m in a time of 1:58.09 with another Briton, Jemma Reekie, close behind in third.

Brazil's Olympic bronze medallist Alison dos Santos just held off Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands to take the 400m hurdles in 48.23.

Turkey's Yasmani Copello was third with Karsten Warholm resting ahead of next week's Diamond League Final.

Steffin McCarter saved his best for the Final 3 as he took victory in the long jump.

The American's 7.99m saw him beat South Africa's Ruswahl Samaai with Filippo Randazzo of Italy third.