June 11, 2015 / 9:06 PM / 2 years ago

Chinese Zhang upstages high jump favorites in Oslo

Guowei Zhang of China competes in the High Jump at the Diamond League athletics competition at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo June 11, 2015.Jon Olav Nesvold/NTB Scanpix

OSLO (Reuters) - Asian Games silver medalist Zhang Guowei upstaged the favorites to win the men's high jump at the Bislett Games Diamond League meeting on Thursday.

Zhang cleared 2.36 meters on a cool evening with swirling winds which made conditions difficult for the athletes.

He then failed with three attempts at 2.40 to finish ahead of Italian Marco Fassinotti and Qatar's world silver medalist Mutaz Barshim, who was joint third with American Erik Kynard.

Barshim and Ukrainian Bohdan Bondarenko, who finished fifth, have been locked in a fierce battle to break Javier Sotomayor's 22-year-old world record of 2.45 meters.

The Cuban was watching from the stands on Thursday.

Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, running solo for the latter part of the 5,000 meters race, failed in a bid to break her sister Tirunesh's women's world record of 14 minutes 11.15 seconds, set at the Bislett stadium in 2008.

Dibaba, the world indoor 3,000 meters champion, finished in 14:21.29, more then 17 seconds ahead of second-placed compatriot Senbere Teferi.

"I tried hard but the pacemakers could not do what I needed," Dibaba said. "Of course, the cold and the wind also played a part but overall I'm okay with the race."

RUTHERFORD WINS

Britain's Olympic champion Greg Rutherford followed his victory at Birmingham last Sunday on his return to competition after injury by winning the men's long jump with 8.25 meters. The customary Kenyan battle for supremacy in the men's 3,000 meters steeplechase resulted in victory for Commonwealth silver medalist Jairus Kipchoge Birech in 8:05.63 ahead of world silver medalist Conseslus Kipruto.

The consistent Jamaican Kaliese Spencer won the women's 400 meters hurdles, the first track event of the evening, in a world leading time of 54.15 seconds.

American 100 meters hurdler Jasmin Stowers, who has faltered in her last two Diamond League meetings, returned to winning ways with victory in 12.84 seconds.

Stowers set world leading times of 12.40 and 12.39 at the start of the season before clocking 12.35 at the Doha Diamond League meeting.

She then jogged across the line in Rome after hitting the eighth hurdle and was disqualified for a false start in Birmingham.

"After Birmingham I paid attention to my start and technique," she said.

Briton Laura Muir was rewarded for some bold front-running tactics, in the women's 1,500 and holding on to win her first Diamond League meeting in four minutes 00.39 seconds as the pack strove in vain to chase her down.

"I heard them coming as the crowd got louder but I managed to keep on running," Muir said. "I think this is the biggest win of my career."

The Dream Mile, the final event of the evening, was won by Kenyan Asbel Kiprop in 3:51.45.

Editing by Ken Ferris

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