Diamond League: Caster Semenya maintains unbeaten season after winning Brussels 400m

Diamond League: Caster Semenya maintains unbeaten season after winning Brussels 400m

Caster Semenya's win in the women's 400m was among the standout performances in the season-ending Brussels Diamond League

Tom Hiscott

Brussels played host to the final Diamond League event of the 2016 season, with 15 Diamond Race titles all up for grabs. 

The likes of Almaz Ayana and Caterine Ibarguen already had their titles wrapped-up before victories at the King Baudouin Stadium in the Belgian capital, with Ayana breaking a meeting record to win the 5,000m, and Colombia's Ibarguen winning her sixth Diamond event from seven this season with a jump of 14.66metres.

There was also a homecoming for Rio's Heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam, and she thrilled the crowd with victory in the women's high jump.

Semenya shows her middle-distance strength to win 400 and maintain unbeaten season

Having won all 26 of her 800m races in 2016, Caster Semenya's presence in the 400 in Brussels was a fascinating storyline to follow.

Looking as though she was struggling over the first half of the race with others moving away from the South African, Semenya maintained a strong pace to push on through the final bend.

Coming into the home straight, the Olympic champion sat behind a pair of Americans and two Jamaicans, but her 800 metre pace came to the fore as she pushed through to claim victory on the line with a time of 50.40seconds.

Courtney Okolo of the USA was pushed down into second, with Jamaica's Stephanie Ann McPherson finishing third, yet doing enough to claim the Diamond League title by seven points from Natasha Hastings who faded to finish fifth.

Doyle fades to finish fifth, handing Tate 400m hurdle Diamond Race win

Following on from Laura Muir's fantastic Diamond Race win which was confirmed last week in Zurich, Britain's Eilidh Doyle came into the final event hoping to emulate her fellow Scot.

Holding a lead in the 400m standings, Doyle knew if she finished ahead of America's Cassandra Tate the title would be hers. 

Cassandra Tate wins the Brussels 400m hurdles (image via: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)

After going out fast, Doyle faded over the second half of the race and didn't have enough in the tank eventually finishing fifth. Unfortunately for the Brit, Tate came home in first with a time of 54.47seconds to leapfrog her at the top of the Diamond Race standings, to take home the 40,000 Euro prize.

Thompson beats Schippers once more to claim 100m prize

After a stunning run to win the final 200m race of the season last week, Jamaica's double-Olympic champion Elaine Thompson continued her excellent end to the season with the 100m Diamond Race win.

Thompson stormed to victory in 10.72 seconds, a quarter of a second head of Dafne Schippers to win the Diamond Race with 50 points. 

Asbel Kiprop (1500) and Alonso Edward (200) already had their titles confirmed coming in to the Brussels meet and watched on as Timothy Cheruiyot and Julian Forte won the final races of their season in their retrospective events.

Conseslus Kipruto scored the perfect 70 Diamond points after winning his sixth consecutive 3,000m steeplechase event in the series. The Olympic champion held off Evan Jager to win in a time of 8.03.77 minutes, striding clear over the final barrier.

Orlando Ortega celebates his 100m hurdle win (image source: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)

In the men's 100m hurdles, Spain's Orlando Ortega won in Brussels to help extend his Diamond Race points dominance, while Ferguson Rotich took home the 800m title.

Palameika breaks National Record on way to Javelin title

In the women's Javelin, Madara Palameika capped an excellent season to win the Diamond Race by 34 points with victory in Brussels. 

Her first round throw of 66.18 was a new national record and proved too hard to beat for her competitors, giving the 29-year-old her fourth win of the Diamond League season. 

Other Diamond Race winners in the field include Valerie Adams and Piotr Malachowksi in their throwing events despite second place finishes in Brussels, with Erik Kynard, Katerina Stefanidi and Fabrice Lapierre also taking home 2016 titles.