Greg Rutherford rounded off his annus mirabilis in the Letzigrund Stadium tonight as he added his first International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond Race long jump title to the Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth titles already in his collection.
In the first of two finals - the other due in Brussels on September 11 – double points were on offer, so although the Briton had a 13-7 lead over the only man who could overhaul him, Marquis Dendy, victory for the United States jumper and a failure to finish in the top three could still have seen him beaten to the overall prize, each of which carried wild card entry to the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
Rutherford trailed to a fourth round effort of 8.32 metres by Dendy, but responded as he has all season, equalling that effort in the fifth round and taking a lead which he saw through by virtue of a better second-best jump.
Almaz Ayana, who deprived her fellow Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba of the 1500/5,000 metres double in Beijing, earned another victory over the 1500m world record holder over 3,000m in a meeting record of 8min 22.34sec.
Dibaba’s second place in 8:26.54 was sufficient to give her a two-point margin over her rival in the Diamond Race standing, though.
Double Olympic javelin champion Barbora Spotakova recovered from the disappointment of failing to earn a medal at last month’s World Championships and got back to business as usual as she secured her fourth Diamond Race victory with a winning effort of 64.31m, with Germany’s Katharina Molitor, who earned a dramatic world title win with her last throw, third with 62.43m.
David Oliver, whose defence of his world 110m hurdles title in Beijing ended without a place on the podium, also perked himself up with a Diamond Race win as he finished second in 13.30sec behind the newly-established world champion Sergey Shubenkov of Russia, who clocked 13.14.
Orlando Ortega, obliged to sit out the World Championships as his switch from Cuba to Spain is still being officially processed, was third in 13.30 and second overall.
Mutaz Essa Barshim was the only man to clear 2.32m in the men’s high jump, with Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine and China’s world silver medallist Guowei Zhang managing 2.30m.
The Qatari thus earned the Diamond Trophy as overall winner with 20 points to Zhang’s nine.
Kenya’s triple world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop confirmed his Diamond Trophy win with victory in 3:35.79.
Zuzana Hejnova, the Czech athlete who retained her world 400m hurdles title in Beijing after a timely return from injury, confirmed her Diamond Race win with a final win in 54.47sec ahead of Sara Petersen of Norway second with Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer, whose season was interrupted by injury, finishing fourth in 55.29 to maintain second position overall.
Victory on the night with a height of 4.77m also earned Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou of Greece the Diamond Race trophy ahead of second-placed Fabiana Murer of Brazil, who cleared 4.72.
Eunice Sum of Kenya, out of reach in terms of points before she set foot on the track, confirmed her women’s 800m Diamond Race win with victory in 1:59.14 ahead of Britain’s Lynsey Sharp, second on the night in 1:59.37 and overall.
Poland’s Piotr Malachowski, winner of his first global discus title in Beijing, has followed it with his third Diamond League win.
A throw of 65.04m earned him second place, and victory by two points over the winner on the night with 65.78m, fellow Pole Robert Urbanek.
Christina Schwanitz, Germany’s world shot put champion, had already got the Diamond Race won, but needed – like all aspiring winners - to turn up on the night in competitive mode.
She did rather more, winning again with 19.91m.
Kenya’s Jairus Kipchoge Birech was in the same situation in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, rubber-stamping his overall win with second place in 8:15.64 behind fellow countryman Paul Kipsiele Koech, who earned victory in 8:10.24.
Ivana Spanovic improved her Serbian long jump record by a centimetre to 7.02m to win in the Letzigrund, but the Diamond Race went to world champion Tianna Bartoletta of the US, who finished second on the night with 6.97, was uncatchable as Diamond Race leader.
Jamaica’s Olympic and world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce used the double points value of the concluding final to the max as, after a bullet of a start, eight points for a winning time of 10.93 moved her total to 20, while Nigeria's second-placed Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, the only sprinter who could have caught her, finished on 12 points after four points for second place in 10.98.
LaShawn Merritt won the battle, but Kirani James won the war in the men’s 400m.
The US world silver medallist won in 44.18, but second place in 44.28 gave Grenada’s Olympic champion a 14-11 Diamond Race win.
Eight points for a final round win in the men’s 200m in 20.03 earned Alonso Edward of Panama victory in the Diamond Race over the runner who had arrived in Zurich leading the list - Anaso Jobodwana of South Afirica, third in 20.24 .
The men’s 800m was not part of tonight’s Diamond League programme, but nevertheless produced one of the highlights of the evening as Kenya’s world record holder David Rudisha, who regained his world title in Beijing, was overtaken on the back straight, eventually finishing fourth as Poland’s Adam Kszczot won in 1:45.55.
The previous evening’s men’s pole vault, also a non-scoring event in Diamond Race terms, saw world champion Shawn Barber win in a personal best of 5.92m.
July 2015: Fraser-Pryce and Rutherford shine in Stockholm, but Barshim suffers fourth Diamond League defeat
July 2015: Schippers breaks own 100m Dutch record as London Diamond League meeting comes to close
July 2015: Bolt posts season's best time to win 100m at Sainsbury's Anniversary Games
July 2015: Dibaba breaks Qu Junxia’s 22-year-old world 1500m record in IAAF Monaco Diamond League
July 2015: Farah dedicates Lausanne Diamond League win on competitive return to coach Salazar