Lynsey Sharp sparkles in superb Diamond League display

Lynsey Sharp celebrates winning the 800 metres in Birmingham
Lynsey Sharp celebrates winning the 800 metres in Birmingham
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Capital hero Lynsey Sharp is going from strength to strength.

With another devastating finish the 24-year-old Edinburgh AC member swept to her first Diamond League victory when she won the 800 metres in a star-studded field at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix at the Alexander Stadium yesterday.

Sharp’s time of 1:59.14 was her second fastest ever but it was the manner of her win which was so impressive as she drove past first Brenda Martinez of the USA, then the Kenyan Commonwealth Games champion Eunice Sum on the way to the line.

Fourth was fellow Scot Laura Muir in a personal best of 2:00.67, the Glasgow University vet student taking the scalps of several notable rivals including British team-mate Hannah England.

Sharp, the silver medallist in both the Commonwealth Games and this month’s European Championships, was in third place at the bell, sitting back off the 57.63 pace set by veteran Canadian Diane Cummins, and she kept on the inside lane on the back straight before again making her move coming off the final bend.

“It’s great to be back and in the mix,” she said. “These are the girls I watched last year.

“I keep saying it’s a miracle, but it really is – huge credit is due to all my team for getting me here.”

Sharp now lies in third place in the Diamond League 800m standings and will run the final in Brussels next week (in which there are double points) with just a chance of catching American Ajee Wilson in second place though with no chance of overhauling the leader Sum.

Scotland’s European 400m hurdles champion Eilidh Child (Pitreavie) is also third in the standings and could well overtake the Bahrain athlete Kemi Adehoya, who is just one point ahead of her, though Child has no chance of catching runaway leader and Commonwealth champion Kaliese Spencer who beat her comfortably again yesterday as she had done at Hampden.

But Child, who was timed at 54.89 secs to Spencer’s 53.80, was not dismayed as she revealed that she had used the occasion to experiment with her stride pattern, a move she hopes will stand her in good stead for next year’s World Championships in Beijing.

“I tried taking 15 strides between the hurdles to the sixth hurdle instead of the fifth and that went well.”

Guy Learmonth’s bid for a new Scottish record for the rarely run 600 metres did not go quite so well as the 22-year-old Lasswade runner had clearly not recovered from a recent illness and a bereavement.

He came home at the back of the field in 1:17.13, outside his indoor best of 1:16.48, perhaps also shell-shocked by the pace set by 800m Olympic champion and World record-holder David Rudisha who clocked 1:13.71, the second fastest time ever.

• Cameron Tindle (Edinburgh AC) certainly did not disappoint at a windswept Aberdeen Sports Village on Saturday, completing a speedy under-17 sprint double in the Scottish Age Group Championships.

A malfunctioning wind gauge may have cost him a record in his 100m heat which he won in 10.78 secs and, with the gauge back in action, his win in the final in 10.72 secs was assisted by a following wind of +3.3mps, too strong for a new Scottish record. He also won the 200m in a windy 22.03 secs.

The under-17 women’s winner was equally impressive, Alisha Rees, training partner of EAC’s Scottish senior champion Kathryn Christie, taking the 100 metres in a windy 11.55 secs and the 200m in 24.54secs.

Christie, meanwhile, was winning the Inter-Counties title at Bedford yesterday in a remarkable 23.55 secs with the wind reading a tantalising +2.1mps, a mere 0.1 mps over the limit.

Other Capital winners in Aberdeen yesterday included Jordan Charters and Rachel Robertson (Lasswade), who took the under-20 long jump titles with 6.73m and 5.63m, while former New Year Sprint winner Pat Swann (EAC) was second in the 400m in 48.05.