Sandi Morris of the United States becomes only the second woman to pole vault 5.00m outdoors as she wins the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Brussels ©Getty Images

Pole vaulter Sandi Morris produced the performance of the night at the Memorial Van Damme at the second of the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Diamond League finals at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, becoming only the second woman in history behind Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva to clear five metres outdoors.

Morris, who took the Olympic silver medal on countback at Rio 2016 behind Greece's Katerina Stefanidi after both cleared 4.85m, had no chance of depriving her rival of this season’s Diamond Trophy and accompanying prize of $40,000 in their event, but after securing victory she went on to achieve her historic effort at the second attempt.

The 24-year-old from Illinois was already second on the all-time list following her Americas record of 4.93m in July, although Isinbayeva, who set the world record of 5.06m in 2009, had ten superior outdoor marks.

The American’s landmark achievement – which was a new Area record, a meeting record and a Diamond League record - now takes its place behind the top five vaults by the double Olympic champion who retired on the day of the Rio 2016 pole vault final, from which she was excluded following the IAAF ban on Russian track and field athletes following allegations of state-supported doping.

Stefanidi bowed out after one failure at 4.82m and - having passed to 4.94m, two subsequent failures, with her best being 4.76.

Olympic pole vault silver medallist Sandi Morris of the US kept her nerve after early failure before becoming only the second woman after Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva to 5m outdoors ©Getty Images
Olympic pole vault silver medallist Sandi Morris of the US kept her nerve after early failure before becoming only the second woman after Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva to 5m outdoors ©Getty Images

The United States athlete was staring at possible defeat having failed in her first attempt at 4.76m, but after gambling on a move up to 4.82m she hit a rich vein of form, clearing that height, then 4.88m and 4.94m at the first attempt.

Morris has cleared 4.95m indoors, where fellow US vaulter Jenn Suhr, the London 2012 champion, set a world record of 5.03m in January this year.

Ethiopia’s Olympic gold medallist and world record holder at 10,000 metres, Almaz Ayana, finished more than seven seconds adrift of her world 5,000m record target but still won comfortably in 14min 18.89sec to confirm her overall Diamond Race victory.

Ayana may have fallen short of her target time of 14:11.15, set by compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008, but her meeting record was enough to provoke eight others to set personal bests, with Shannon Rowbury of the United States setting an Americas record of 14:38.92 in fifth place.

The Ethiopian, winner of the Olympic bronze medal at Rio 2016, was followed home by the Kenyan who took silver in Brazil, Hellen Obiri, in a personal best of 14:25.78.

Ayana’s fellow Ethiopians Senbere Teferi and Etenesh Diro Neda also clocked personal bests of 14:29.82 and 14:33.30 respectively to finish third and fourth respectively, with other personal bests coming from Kenya’s Alice Aprot Nawowuna, sixth in 14:39.56, fellow Kenyan Margaret Kipkemboi, eighth in 14:47.24, Britain’s Eilish McColgan, 13th in 15:05.00, and Australia’s Genevieve Lacaze, 15th  in 15:06.67.  

Jamaica’s Olympic champion at 100 and 200m, Elaine Thompson, completed a Diamond League double as she won the overall 100m honours with victory in 10.72sec, equalling the meeting record, ahead of the world 200m champion Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands, second in 10.97.

Thompson secured the Diamond Trophy for the 200m this season with a narrow win over Schippers at last week’s first IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich.

The men’s high jump, which was the most open of the 16 remaining Diamond League events, produced a surprise as Erik Kynard of the US, the Olympic silver medallist at London 2012, who could only finish sixth at Rio 2016, took the overall prize with victory on the night.

Kynard’s best of 2.32m was matched  by Qatar's Olympic silver medallist Mutaz Essa Barshim and Britain’s 2014 European champion Robbie Grabarz, but the American won on countback.

"This was an extremely tough competition, a real dog fight," said Kynard.

"We knew that the one who would take this meet, would come out on top of the Diamond League."

Ukraine’s 2013 world champion Bohdan Bondarenko, who led the standings coming into Brussels, could only manage 2.20m for eighth place.

Erik Kynard of the United States, the London 2012 high jump silver medallist, won what he called the
Erik Kynard of the United States, the London 2012 high jump silver medallist, won what he called the "dog fight" to secure this season's Diamond Trophy in the event ©Getty Images

The world record attempt by Kenya's Olympic men’s 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kiprono never got close as he won in 8: 03.74, 10 seconds adrift.

But it was enough to confirm the 21-year-old’s Diamond Race win on a night when Olympic silver medallist Evan Jager of the US finished second in a season’s best of 8:04.01.

Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich had a similar experience to Kiprono in the 800m, where fourth place in 1:44.59 was enough to earn him the season’s  prize in a race won by Poland’s Adam Kszczot in 1:44.36.          

Asbel Kiprop, surprisedly out of the 1500m medals at Rio 2016, finished his season on a relative high as he earned the Diamond Trophy after finishing third in 3:31.87 in a race won by fellow Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot, who clocked a personal best of 3:31.34 ahead of Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider, second in 3:31.40.

Alonso Edward of Panama could only finish sixth in the men’s 200m in 20.23, but it did not matter as he had an unassailable overall lead in the event.

Ahead of him Jamaica’s Julian Forte and Britain’s Adam Gemili both set personal records of 19.97, with the Jamaican getting the victory on the night.

Stephenie Ann McPherson of Jamaica duly earned the Diamond Trophy for the women’s 400m, but, in a time of 50.51, she could only finish third in a race won in a personal best by South Africa’s former world and current Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, who set a personal best of 50.40.

Orlando Ortega of Spain underlined his position as the dominant men’s 110m hurdler on the circuit this season as he confirmed his position as Diamond Race leader by winning in 13.08 ahead of France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who clocked 13.12.

A leap of 14.66m earned Colombia’s Olympic triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen her fourth overall Diamond Race as her Kazak rival Olga Rypakova, who beat her to gold at the London 2012 Games, finished second with 14.41m.

Madara Palameika  of Latvia, virtually certain to secure the Diamond Race in the women’s javelin, did so in style as she won with a national record of 66.18m from her first throw, finishing ahead of double Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic, whose best was 63.78m.

Poland’s Rio 2016 discus silver medallist Piotr Malachowski secured his Diamond Race win with an effort of 65.27m that earned him second place behind Daniel Stahl of Sweden, who managed 65.78m.

Cassandra Tate of the US took the overall women’s 400m hurdles prize after winning in a season’s best of 54.47 as the previous Diamond Race leader, Britain’s Eilidh Doyle, could only manage fifth place in 55.26m

Fabrice Lapierre of Australia secured the men’s long jump Diamond Trophy as he produced an effort of 8.17m to finish second behind South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga, winner with a personal best of 8.48m.