Dear readers, due to a family emergency, I am behind a couple days. My apologies for posting Stuart Weir’s thoughtful pieces on Oslo. Stuart is at the European Team Champs in Poland right now. I will be in NYC Grand Prix this coming weekend, More to come.
Ivorian coasts home in Oslo sprint
Having seen Majo Ta Lou win in Florence in the 100 meters, I was curious to see what she could do in Oslo. She won! Incredibly it was her 8th 100m race win this season, 8 from 8 in May and June. What is more, her 10.75 was her fifth sub 10.90 this year. The full result was:
1 Ta Lou 10.75
2 Anthonique Strachan 10.92
3 Shericka Jackson 10.98
4 Dina Asher-Smith 10.98
4 Darryl Neita 10.98
Jackson was awarded third place with an exact time of .975, with the two British girls clocked at .976.
Two years ago, Darryl had never gone under 11 seconds. Oslo was her tenth time. As she told me, it was a bittersweet evening: “I’m not happy with 4th place, but I’m really happy with another sub-11 run. 10.97 and 10.98 this year, that is good running. It was very close on the line”.
Marie Jose Ta-Lou, photo by photo by Thomas Windestam for Diamond League AG
I know that one can say that Shelly-Ann and Elaine were not there, nor was Sha’Carri, but you can only beat those who are in the race, and Ta Lou did. That Ta Lou followed her 10.78 in Florence with 10.75 in Oslo was impressive. As Darryl Neita put it “Ta Lou was gone”. Ma-Jo assessed her day’s work in the official quote: “It is amazing to come back and win here again after winning two years ago. To run a world leader is especially good, but it is early in the season as we still have two months to the Championships, but it bodes well. I am running well in the Diamond League, and it was a big strong field here, so a good start but I need to keep working hard to get a medal at the Championships!”
Cheekily, I asked her how she seemed to be getting better, despite being older. She told me: “Today I just came to enjoy it. I relaxed and did what my coach told me to do! Like a fine wine, I’m getting better with age.”
This was a mini British Championship with three women in the field. Dina and Darryl could not be separated in fourth place; both sub-11 and both disappointed. Imani Lansiquot, who has run 11.03 this season, recorded 11.10 in Oslo.
Dina told me: “I was hoping for a bit of a quicker time today as I think I’m in better shape, but sometimes that does not happen. I’m happy to have done alright in a field like that, a really stacked field. That’s good. Maybe my start could have been a little bit better, but we’re banging out races, just know”.