OSLO: World champion Dafne Schippers’s 25th birthday celebrations almost fell flat Thursday when the Dutch sprint star was disqualified twice from the 200m at the Oslo Diamond League before successfully appealing her exclusion.
Schippers, the 2015 world champion and silver medallist at the Rio Olympics last year, was originally disqualified for a false start.
She was then allowed to run under protest, taking an impressive victory in 22.30sec before she was disqualified again after the race.
Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure was crowned the winner with a season’s best 22.74sec before the event took another twist later when Schippers was reinstated on appeal.
Schippers claimed that she had been distracted by a spectator standing up and banging their seat back.
“There was a lot of noise at the start and it was difficult to concentrate,” pleaded Schippers.
Canada’s triple medallist from Rio, André De Grasse, won the men’s 100m in 10.01sec to defeat Britain’s Chinjidu Ujah (10.02), the winner in Rome last week, and Ben Youssef Meité of Ivory Coast (10.03).
“It’s my best for the season. I hope it will continue in Stockholm on Sunday and where I want to get under 10 seconds for the first time before the Canadian trials for the world championships,” said Grasse.
Chilly temperatures shattered hopes of world records at the famed Bislett stadium which has witnessd 62 of them down the years.
Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barhim recorded 2.38m in the high jump, a centimetre’s improvement on his best for the year.
It also bettered the stadium record of 2.35m set in 1989 by the only man who has jumped higher than him, Cuba’s world record holder at 2.45m, Javier Sotomayor.
“That was the target,” said Barshim. “We came for 2.38. So mission completed. At the beginning I was feeling a little bit sleepy, but after 2.33 I woke up and came into the right rhythm.”
South Africa’s Caster Semanya won the 800m in 1min 57.59sec ahead of Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba (1:58.18) and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui (1:59.17).
It was the same 1-2-3 from the Rio Olympics.
The home crowd had plenty to celebrate with 16-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen again breaking the four-minute barrier for the mile.
Ingebrigtsen won in 3min 56.29sec, improving his recent best of 3:58.07 which had allowed him to become the youngest man to go below four minutes for the mile.
Ingebrigtsen, who will only turn 17 on September 19, said he has the capacity to go faster.
“I could have run faster today but it doesn’t matter because it was a crazy experience,” said the Norwegian star.
In the 400m hurdles, 21-year-old Karsten Warholm also warmed up the Oslo fans with victory in 48.26sec.