Sarah Lavin finishes fifth in Doha Diamond League then face plants onto track

Irish hurdler was rewarded with a time of 12.73 seconds, not far off her Irish record set last year

The Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday evening provided a first outdoor race of the season that Sarah Lavin will not soon forget, the Limerick sprinter nailing fifth in a world-class 100 metres hurdles, before crashing face-first on to the track such was the extent of her effort.

Lavin was rewarded with a time of 12.73 seconds, the first time she ran sub-13 seconds in her opening race, and not far off her Irish record of 12.62 set last year, which took down which had stood to Derval O’Rourke since 2010.

Conditions were ideal in Doha, the third stop on the Diamond League, and with a legal +1.7m/s wind, Ditaji Kambundji from Switzerland powered to victory in 12.49, just off her national record of 12.47.

Tonea Marshall from USA, who last month ran a world-lead of 12.42, took second in 12.51, with Pia Skrzyszowska from Poland third in 12.53.


For Lavin, who promptly got back on her feet and got some consolation from the other runners, it marks a fine start to the outdoor season as she builds towards next month’s European Championships in Rome and then the Paris Olympics.

In a somewhat tactical men’s 1,500m, Andrew Coscoran was in the chase for a top finish coming into the homestretch, and ended up seventh in 3:34.25.

After reaching 800m in a fast 1:53.88, things slowed considerably with Kenya’s Olympic silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot in front, and he subsequently lost out in the sprint to his team-mate Brian Komen, who took the win in 3:32.43, Cheruiyot second in 3:32.67.

The women’s 1,500m was a crazy affair, Freweyni Hailu from Ethiopia some 20m clear at the bell, the recent World Indoor champion just about holding on for the win in 4:00.42. Ireland’s Sarah Healy finished 10th in 4:05.72, also her first outdoor race of the season, and fourth best European.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics