Sarah Mitton places 2nd in shot put at Diamond League Final to end remarkable season

·5 min read
Sarah Mitton of Brooklyn, N.S., had a best throw of 19.56 metres on the first of her six attempts Wednesday on the way to a second-place finish in women's shot put at the Weltklasse Zürich Diamond League Final track and field event. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters - image credit)
Sarah Mitton of Brooklyn, N.S., had a best throw of 19.56 metres on the first of her six attempts Wednesday on the way to a second-place finish in women's shot put at the Weltklasse Zürich Diamond League Final track and field event. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters - image credit)

Canadian record holder and reigning national champion Sarah Mitton capped her memorable shot put season with a second-place performance at the Weltklasse Zürich Diamond League Final on Wednesday.

The native of Brooklyn, N.S., had a best throw of 19.56 metres on the first of her six attempts on Sechselautenplatz, one of the city's most famous squares on the shore of Lake Zurich.

However, Mitton endured some struggles thereafter with three no-throws, including one that landed on the 20-metre mark, and another attempt measuring 18.85.

Chase Ealey of the United States topped the field of six with a best throw of 20.19 for her 11th victory in as many outdoor events in 2022 that included five wins on the professional track and field circuit and three over Mitton.

WATCH | Mitton rides 19.56-metre throw to 2nd place in Zurich:

Django Lovett was the other Canadian in action Wednesday, finishing third in men's high jump and earning $7,000 in prize money.

Winners across 32 disciplines at the two-day event in Switzerland take home $30,000 US in prize money and receive a wild-card entry to next year's World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Auriol Dongmo of Portugal threw 19.46 on her third try Wednesday and finished third.

Mitton, who lives and trains in Toronto, will take home $12,000 from Wednesday's performance in Switzerland. She began her sensational 2022 campaign in early February with an indoor Canadian record of 19.16 in New York, topping Brittany Crew's 18.81.

Commonwealth, NACAC titles

Three months later, Mitton's 19.58 effort at the Golden Horseshoe Prep Meet in Hamilton surpassed Crew's 19.28 from 2019.

On June 25, Mitton upped the record to 20.33 in Langley, B.C., for her second Canadian title at the senior level before placing fourth at worlds in Eugene, Ore.

The 26-year-old went on to win gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and NACAC Championships in August, throwing 20.15 at the latter event in the Bahamas. Mitton's other season highlights include second- and third-place finishes, respectively, at Diamond League meets in Stockholm and Silesia, Poland.

WATCH | Mitton wins Commonwealth Games gold:

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Lovett, from Surrey, B.C., cleared the bar on his first attempts from 2.15 metres, 2.21, 2.24 and 2.27 on Wednesday.

He proceeded to miss on his first try at 2.30 and re-entered the competition at 2.32, missing twice before calling it a day.

After winning his second national title earlier this summer, Lovett cleared 2.25 to win at NACAC in August and was also victorious at one of five Diamond League competitions and sixth at worlds.

WATCH | Lovett ends Diamond League season with 3rd-place finish:

Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi and American JoVaughn Harrison finished 1-2 in Zurich, each with a season-best throw of 2.34, with Tamberi awarded first based on fewer missed jumps (four) to Harrison's six.

World champion Mutaz Essa Barshim, who shared Olympic gold with Tamberi last summer in Tokyo, was last in Wednesday's six-man field (2.18).

On Thursday, veteran sprinters Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse and middle-distance runner Marco Arop will attempt to capture the first Diamond League Trophy by a Canadian since shot putter Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., on Sept. 16, 2011.

WATCH | Brown secures berth in 200m final at Diamond League Final:

The previous year, one-time world No. 1 hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Whitby, Ont., became Canada's inaugural Diamond League champion when the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist stopped the clock in 12.54 seconds in the women's 100 at the Memorial Van Damme competition in Belgium the day after her 28th birthday.

Kenya's Kipkorir, Chebet claim 5,000m titles

Nicholas Kipkorir of Kenya produced a fast finish in the rain to win the men's 5,000 metres and his compatriot Beatrice Chebet took the women's title in a tight race.

Kipkorir's late surge took him over the line in 12 minutes 59.05 seconds. South Sudan's Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu finished second in 12:59.40 and American Grant Fisher was third in 13:00.56.

"I aim to get higher, to make history," Kipkorir said. "I'll go back home to Kenya. Then I'll start preparing for next year."

Earlier, Chebet claimed the women's title with a superb late charge in better conditions to make up for her world silver medal in July when she finished behind Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay.

The 22-year-old Commonwealth champion crossed the line in 14:31.03 to beat 2019 world silver medallist Margaret Kipkemboi, who was second in 14:31.52 while Tsegay clocked 14:32.11 for third.

"It's a long season since the worlds... so it's a good performance," Chebet said. "I'm hoping that next year I come back, preparing for the Budapest world championship and hopefully be the best."

Kovacs wins men's shot put with historic throw

Joe Kovacs produced the third best effort in men's shot put history at 23.23 metres, shattering his personal best and the meet record to take the crown.

Fellow American Ryan Crouser held the previous mark of 22.67 from his Diamond Trophy win a year ago.

"I'm super excited. I had so many throws this year over 22.80," said Kovacs, whose throw was only behind fellow American Ryan Crouser's world record of 23.37 and his Tokyo Olympic gold medal-winning effort of 23.30.

Kovacs' previous best was 22.91 that won the 2019 world final in Doha, Qatar, where he beat Crouser by one centimetre.

"I feel like I was building and building. It feels good to click the box and be a 23-metre shot putter. There's a bigger throw left in there."

Crouser threw 27.24 to finish second on Wednesday, while Tom Walsh of New Zealand was third (21.90).