British athletes shine at Diamond League in Birmingham
Perri Shakes-Drayton, Mo Farah, Jessica Judd and Christine Ohuruogu all win in Birmingham
Perri Shakes-Drayton led a British charge at the Diamond League event in Birmingham this weekend, claiming victory with a storming performance in the 400m hurdles.
Double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah also put in an impressive performance to win the 5,000m, as did Jessica Judd and Christine Ohuruogu in winning the 800m and 400m metres respectively.
Shakes-Drayton has been in excellent form all season, claiming two golds at the European Indoor Championships in March, and once again looked sharp as she ran a season's best 53.82 secs to beat off competition from British team-mate Eilidh Child, who ran a personal best 54.22 to secure second. 23-year-old Meghan Beesley (55.73 secs), was fourth.
Afterwards Shakes-Drayton said she was happy with her efforts, but insisted she could do even better with the World Championships in Moscow on the horizon.
"It wasn't the perfect race," she said. "It's always nice to peak as you get close to a championship. We need to stay fit and healthy.
It was also a good weekend for another of Great Britain's leading athletes Robbie Grabarz, who jumped a season's best 2.31m in the high jump to grab third place behind American Erik Kynard and Bohdan Bonda of Ukraine, who topped the lot with a leap of 2.36.
The Olympic bronze-medalist has struggled for form since the games in London last summer but cut a relieved figure after setting his best mark of the season.
“It was fantastic to jump over 2.30 again, I feel like I am Robbie again," he said.
“It has given me a lot of confidence to move forward and I’m just looking forward to the rest of the summer.”
One man who certainly looked like his old self again was Mo Farah, who blew away his rivals in the 5,000m.
Farah's reputation had suffered after his flirtation with the marathon but he was back to doing what he does best in Birmingham, leaving Ethiopian rivals Yenew Alamirew and Hagos Gebrhiwet behind as he crossed the line in 13:24:24.
Elsewhere in the event Greg Rutherford finished second in the long jump ahead of compatriot Chris Tomlinson, while Welshman Dai Greene struggled for rhythm as came him in 5th in the men's 400m hurdles.