Eyebrow-raising incidents at Diamond League in Norway

Nigerian athlete Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor  lost her wig in the long jump pit at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo.
LUCY NICHOLSON

Nigerian athlete Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor lost her wig in the long jump pit at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo.

The Oslo Diamond League meeting produced some interesting incidents.

In the women's long jump we saw the unusual sight of Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor landing in the pit and the wig she was wearing come off and land in the pit beside her.

In the women's steeplechase, the pacemaker got confused and almost missed the waterjump. Realising her mistake she cut back onto the waterjump approach lane, causing mayhem as the other athletes approached the jump, taking out a couple of the athletes.

Then there appeared to be quite a bizarre set of circumstances in the women's 200m race. Dafne Schippers clearly false started, but was seen indicating she had been distracted by crowd noise and she was allowed to take her place in the race, presumably the start referee allowing her running under protest.

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After the race, which she won, it was announced she had been disqualified.

However, one hour later, the Diamond League organisers tweeted: "Confirmation: Dafne Schippers reinstated as winner in the 200m with a time of 22.31."

No further explanation was given.

■ Last Saturday Christchurch hosted the New Zealand secondary schools cross-country championships, with Tessa Webb achieving the best result of the local runners, finishing third in the senior girls race.

As I alluded to in last week's report, although Webb was the defending titleholder, I expected Hannah O'Connor, last year's junior titleholder, to prove too strong.

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And so it proved to be, with O'Connor taking the title from Phoebe Mcknight, with Webb back in third place.

In the senior boys race, Benjamin Wall was the best the local runner, finishing 22nd.

Theo Purdy was 39th, Sam Bentham 66th and Samuel Phillips 91st.

The Palmerston North Boys' High School team of Wall, Bentham and Phillips was 11th in the three-person teams results.

Liam Wall finished 41st in the junior boys race, with Andre Le Pine-Day 101st.

■ Last Sunday the Wellington Marathon doubled as the New Zealand championships and I see Will O'Connor was 10th across the line  in 2h 43min 18s, which placed him fourth in his age group.

Liam Woolford just managed to break the three-hour barrier, crossing the finishing line in 2h 58.59 in 25th place overall but sixth in his age group.

In the half marathon Chris Sanson took second place, taking 1h 5min 58sec to complete the journey.

Manawatu Striders' David Jones walked the half marathon in 2h 19.27, taking third place.

Braydn Popow just missed going under the hour in winning the 10km walk, stopping the clock just 36 seconds beyond the hour.

Monica Burnard competed in the 10km being the ninth women to finish and fourth in her age group.

■ Our best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Harrison Porritt who is currently in hospital in Wellington after undergoing heart surgery.

Harrison is one of the country's promising middle distance runners having recently won both the 800m and 1500m titles at the North Island secondary school championships.

■ On Sunday is the first of the winter track and field series meetings at the Manawatu Community Athletics Track.

The timetable for the first meeting is

Track: 1pm 100m; 1.20pm 1000m, 3000m, 5000m; 1.50pm 1500m; 2.10pm 400m or 2x200m.

Field: 1pm discus/hammer; 1pm high jump; 1.45pm shot; 1.45pm long jump.

■ We have some Manawatu athletes heading overseas to compete.

Matt Field left on Saturday on his way to Spain to compete in the World Transplant Games.

Chris Sanson is shortly off to the Gold Coast where he will run in the Oceania marathon championships, while Ariana Blackwood, Tessa Webb and Ben Langton-Burnell will be off to Suva for the Oceania championships.

■ Whats on.

June 24: Cross-country relay, Mangaone Park.

June 25: Winter track and field series, Palmerston North.

June 29-July 1: Oceania championships, Suva.

June 30-July 1: World Transplant Games, Malaga Spain.

July 1: North Island cross-country, Taupo.

 - Stuff

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