Pole vaulter Barber caps Diamond League season with bronze in Brussels

Shawn Barber continued a recent stretch of strong performances on Friday, clearing 5.83 metres to finish third in men's pole vault at the Diamond League track and field final in Brussels.

It appeared the Canadian-born athlete might bow out after missing his first two attempts at 5.40, but Barber overcame the slow start at King Baudouin Stadium to wage an exciting battle with Russia's Timur Morgunov (5.93) and American Sam Kendricks (5.88), who finished 1-2.

After jumping 5.40 at the recent NACAC championships in Toronto, the 24-year-old Barber travelled to Poland and delivered a 5.85 on Aug. 17 – his second highest outdoors of 2018 and best since a 5.92 on March 31.

The 2015 world champion then set an indoor season best of 5.86 at an exhibition in Switzerland, defeating longtime rival Renaud Lavillenie, Olympic-record holder Thiago Braz, Poland's Pawel Wojciechowski and Piotr Lisek — all of whom were in Friday's field — and Kendricks.

On Friday, Barber took two attempts to clear 5.53, 5.63 and 5.68 before making good on his first try at 5.73 to sit third after clipping the bar. The 2018 Canadian champion would miss at 5.78 and chose to re-enter at 5.83 and cleared to move into first place.

Barber missed all three attempts at 5.88 while Morgunov and Kendricks each converted on their final try. The Russian vaulted 5.93 and Kendricks bypassed the height and re-entered at 5.98, missing three times.

Ahmed sets season best in 5,000m

Mo Ahmed's ninth-place finish and season-best time of 13 minutes 3.08 seconds was overlooked following an extremely fast men's 5,000 metres that saw Ethiopia's Selemon Barega shatter the Diamond League mark in a world-leading and meet record 12:43.02 — the fourth-fastest in history.

Of the 13 finishers, nine established person bests, including Hagos Gebrhiwet (12:45.82) and Yomit Kejelcha (12:46.79), as Ethiopia filled the podium.

It marked just the fifth 5,000 of the season for the Somalian-born, St. Catharines, Ont.-raised Ahmed, who has never won gold or silver in a Diamond League race. He finished fifth at last year's Diamond League final in Zürich.

The 27-year-old, however, did prevail earlier in the season at the Canadian championships and won silver in the 5,000 and 10,000 at the Commonwealth Games.

Ahmed, who runs 80 to 100 miles weekly with his teammates at the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club, will be part of the Canadian contingent at the Continental Cup Sept. 8-9 in Ostrava, Czech Republic, along with Matt Hughes (3,000m steeplechase), Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (1,500), Barber and Nettey.

Mason 7th in high jump

High jumper Mike Mason, trying to make the most of his opportunity to compete at a Diamond League final, placed seventh with a best clearance of 2.26 metres.

The Nanoose Bay, B.C. native finished in seventh place with a jump of 2.26-metres in the men's high jump at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels, Belgium. 0:40

The 31-year-old from Nanoose Bay, B.C., had qualified 10th of 12 competitors for Friday's competition with a second-place finish (2.30) two weeks ago at the Müller Grand Prix in Birmingham, England.

On Friday, Mason missed his first try at 2.15 but made good on his second attempt. The three-time Olympian went on to clear 2.23 and 2.26 on his first try before missing three times at 2.29.

Mason was in top form for much of the season. He jumped 2.32 in May at Victoria — just shy of his 2.33 personal best, set three years ago in Edmonton. Earlier this month, Mason went 2.28 for a silver medal at the NACAC championships in Toronto.

Long jumper Nettey reaches 6.52m

Christbel Nettey finished seventh in a field of nine long jumpers, topping out at 6.52 metres on the second of her six attempts.

Surrey, B.C.'s Christabel Nettey's best jump, at 6.52 metres, landed her in seventh place in the women's long jump, at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels, Belgium. 1:08

The Surrey, B.C., native dipped to 6.47, 6.39 and 6.35 before rebounding to jump 6.50 on her final try.

Nettey, 27, excelled to open the outdoor season coming off a solid showing during her first indoor campaign in three years. She won her first three competitions, including a season-high 6.92 jump in Brisbane, Australia, and a gold medal two weeks later on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games.

But she extended herself during a mid-season trip to Europe for four competitions in two weeks and struggled to regain top form upon her return, jumping 6.54 in Birmingham, England, after taking nearly a month off.

Still, Nettey won seven of 11 outdoor events this year.

Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen jumped 6.80 to take Friday's competition over Shara Proctor (6.70) of Great Britain and American Sha'Keela Saunders (6.88).

Coleman runs world-leading 9.79 seconds

Christian Coleman became the fastest sprinter of the season when he won the 100 metres in 9.79 seconds and beat favoured U.S. compatriot Ronnie Baker.

American Christian Coleman ran a world leading time of 9.79 seconds, to win the men's 100m race at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels, Belgium. 3:05

Coleman set a personal record despite a slight headwind and easily won because Baker totally missed his start and had to recover to finish in 9.93 seconds. Former world champion Yohan Blake finished third.

Coleman is 22 and with his win at the end of a strong season, he establishes himself as a new star who could shine at next year's world championships in Doha, Qatar.

Perez ends Perkovic's 6-year reign in discus

Croatian discus thrower Sandra Perkovic lost her hold on the Diamond League trophy after six years when she was defeated by Yaime Perez on the Cuban's final throw of the year-long competition.

Cuba's Yaime Perez defeated six-time defending Diamond League discus champion Sandra Perkovic, with a throw of 65.00 metres, at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels, Belgium. 0:25

The reigning Olympic, world, and European champion seemed ready to coast to her seventh title after she took the early lead at the Van Damme with 64.31 metres on her first throw, but Perez hit back on her sixth throw with 65.

Also on her final throw, Andressa de Morais of Brazil took second place with 64.65.

Perkovic said she had been suffering from the flu for several days, and complained the IAAF should not award the trophy based on one day's performance.

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