Smiles after the tears of Tokyo - Anzhelika Sidorova won the women's pole vault Diamond Trophy with a best of 5.01m in Zurich ©Getty Images

Anzhelika Sidorova, who was in tears after having to settle for Olympic silver in Tokyo, experienced a reversal of fortune at the Diamond League Final in Zurich as she became only the third women’s pole vaulter to better 5.00 metres outdoors, winning with a Diamond League record of 5.01m.

The performance by the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) who won the 2019 world title has only been bettered outdoors by the world record of 5.06m set by her fellow Russian Yelena Isinbayeva in the same Letzigrund Stadium 12 years ago.

Sidorova’s was the standout performance of a Weltklasse meeting which determined the 25 final Diamond Trophy winners - each earning a $30,000 (£21,700/€25,280) prize and a wildcard entry to next year’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene - following yesterday's programme of seven finals at the Sechseläutenplatz.

That distinction might have been topped with the final action of the evening as Olympic men’s pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis had three good but unsuccessful attempts to clear 6.19m and thus add a centimetre to his own world record, having secured earlier victory in a highly competitive contest.

In front of well-populated stands, Sidorova had seen off all opposition with a first-time clearance of 4.91m after the Olympic champion, Katie Nageotte of the United States, had gone out after three failures at her opening height of 4.57m.

The ANA then cleared 4.96m first-time before making her landmark vault at the third attempt.

It puts her third on the overall list of women pole vaulters, behind Isinbayeva’s outdoor mark and the 5.03m cleared indoors by London 2012 Olympic champion Jenn Suhr of the US.

"I think we are all a bit tired already after a long season and in the warm-up I did not feel 100 per cent ready for a jump over 5m," Sidorova said.

"I just wanted to do some jumps and did not think of a perfect technique and perfect conditions.

"I still cannot believe I got the 5m barrier today."

Duplantis had earned an expected victory with a meeting record of 5.98m before going on to clear 6.06m at his first attempt

All six finalists had kept the contest boiling as they cleared 5.83m, and the 21-year-old Swede’s last challenger was the double world champion Sam Kendricks of the US, determined to wring every last thing out of the end of the season having been denied the opportunity of improving upon his Rio 2016 bronze in Tokyo after having to quarantine following a positive COVID-19 test.

After two failures at 5.98m Kendricks passed for one final attempt at 6.03m - but in vain, and had to settle for a season’s best of 5.93m that was equalled by third-placed ANA Timur Morgunov, also in a season’s best.

While neither the women’s nor the men’s 1500 metres races were won in especially fast times, both produced classic head-to-head finishes between perennial rivals - the essence of the sport.

Faith Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan, respective Olympic and world 1500m champions, battled all down the final straight before the former prevailed in the women's contest.

I was mighty close, but Faith Kipyegon pipped Sifan Hassan in the 1500m final ©Getty Images
I was mighty close, but Faith Kipyegon pipped Sifan Hassan in the 1500m final ©Getty Images

The Kenyan had come off the final bend ahead, with the gangling figure of the Dutch Olympic 5,000m and 10,000, champion moving out to challenge.

Halfway down the straight Hassan appeared to draw level - but that was as far as she got as the Kenyan re-asserted herself to win in 3min 58.33, with Hassan clocking 3:58.55.

Once the men's 1500m pacer had dropped out Stewart McSweyn of Australia moved to the front, but at the bell Kenya’s world champion Timothy Cheruiyot, whose 13-0 record against 20-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen was ended when the Norwegian won the Olympic final, moved into the lead at the bell.

Ingebrigtsen shadowed him around the final bend and appeared about to take the lead all the way to the line, but Cheruiyot, grimacing, held on to win by half a stride from the Olympic champion in 3:31.37, with the Norwegian clocking 3:31.45.

Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah did not get one of her best starts but drew away in characteristic fashion over the final 30 metres to win the women’s 100m in a meeting record of 10.65sec - not so far off the 10.54 she recorded at Eugene last month to go second on the all-time list behind the world record of 10.49 set by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner of the US in 1988.

Second place went to Britain’s world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, whose Olympic ambitions were undermined by an untimely hamstring injury, in a season’s best of 10.87, with home runner Ajla Del Ponte third.

Christine Mboma's brilliant 2021 continued as the teenager set an African 200m record ©Getty Images
Christine Mboma's brilliant 2021 continued as the teenager set an African 200m record ©Getty Images

Namibia’s 18-year-old Christine Mboma, who took Olympic 200m silver behind Thompson-Herah in a world under-20 record of 21.81, lowered that mark to 21.77, an African record, in earning her first Diamond Trophy.

In the final 50 metres Mboma, who has moved down from her first specialist distance of 400m in line with the World Athletics ruling on female athletes with naturally elevated testosterone levels, moved past early leader Asher-Smith and, a metre or so from the line, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson.

The latter clocked a personal best of 21.81, with Asher-Smith, building on her sharp earlier performance over 100m, clocking 22.19.

The men’s 100m was of similar quality to the women’s as American Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Fred Kerley overhauled the early leader, compatriot Ronnie Baker, in the final strides, to win in 9.87sec, with Canada’s Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse also finishing fast to claim second place in 9.89, equalling his personal best.

Baker was third in 9.91 and behind the fading winner of the US Olympic trials, Trayvon Bromell, who clocked 9.96.

De Grasse reversed the order in the final event of the night, the men’s 200m, finishing in 19.72 ahead of Kerley, who clocked 19.83, but both were beaten by the US' Olympic 200m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek, who clocked 19.70.

Karsten Warholm, who lowered his own men’s 400m hurdles world record to an epic 45.94sec in winning the Olympic title, had complained on the eve of competition of feeling "empty" after achieving "all of those things you have been dreaming about".

The former multi-eventer hinted at moving to fresh challenges next season, perhaps even the 800m.

But an empty Warholm was still too full of running for a classy field as he produced a characteristic front-running effort from lane seven to finish his season on a high and successfully defend his Diamond League title in a time of 47.35, with Brazil’s Olympic bronze medallist, 21-year-old Alison Dos Santos, second in 47.81.

Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy, who shared the Olympic men's high jump title with Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, ended his season on a high as he won with a best of 2.34 metres.

The women’s Olympic triple jump champion, Yulimar Rojas, produced another exuberant exhibition of supreme performances, jumping way over 15m with all three of her scoring efforts and concluding with her best effort of 15.48m, just 19 centimetres shy of the world record she set with her last jump in Tokyo.

With the American Olympic women’s 400 metres hurdles gold and silver medallists Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad absent, the 21-year-old Dutch bronze medallist Femke Bol earned herself a first Diamond Trophy as she moved past Shamier Little over the final hurdle and finished three metres clear in 52.80sec, with American Little second in 53.35.

Britain’s 19-year-old Keely Hodgkinson rounded of an exceptional season of achievement in the women’s 800m that included a European indoor title and an Olympic silver as she moved past Jamaica’s leader Natoya Goule in the finishing straight to earn the honours in 1min 57.98sec.

Goule had to settle for third as Kate Grace, who has thrived on the circuit after failing to make the US Olympic team, came through to beat her by thousandths of a second as both clocked 1:58.34.

Kenya’s Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir overtook the compatriot whom he beat to gold in Tokyo, Ferguson Rotich, to claim the men’s 800m title in 1:44.56, with Rotich, who had gone for broke once the pacemaker pulled clear in the back straight, second in 1:44.96.

Devon Allen won the 110m hurdles by the tightest of margins ©Getty Images
Devon Allen won the 110m hurdles by the tightest of margins ©Getty Images

Continuing the Sidorova theme of consolation prizes after Olympic disappointment, Germany’s 2017 men's javelin world champion Johannes Vetter, whose 2020 effort of 97.76 metres put him second in the all-time list behind Jan Železný of the Czech Republic but only managed ninth place in the Tokyo 2020 final, won clearly with his opening effort of 89.11m.  

Still on that theme, Germany’s European women’s javelin champion Christin Hussong, ninth in Tokyo, won with a best of 65.26m.

And Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, in great form all season and desperately disappointed to miss out on an Olympic medal by one place in Tokyo, was another athlete returning to the heights as she won the women’s 100m hurdles in an African record of 12.42sec.

She was chased home by Nadine Visser, who set a Dutch record of 12.51.

Sweden’s world and Olympic men’s discus champion Daniel Ståhl won the Diamond Trophy with a first effort of 66.49 metres, although Slovenia’s Kristjan Čeh threatened him with a fifth-round 65.39m.

The women’s Olympic discus champion, Valarie Allman of the US, also prevailed with a fifth-round effort of 69.20m, although Croatia’s ever-competitive double Olympic champion Sandra Perković moved to second with a last effort of 67.22m.

A final effort of 17.70m earned Portugal’s Olympic men’s triple jump champion Pedro Pichardo an additional Diamond Trophy in emphatic fashion, with Hugues Fabrice Zango, whose Tokyo 2020 bronze was the first Olympic medal earned for Burkina Faso, reaching 17.20m with his fifth-round jump.

Quanera Hayes of the US won the women’s 400 metres in 49.88sec from the Olympic silver medallist, the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino, who clocked 49.96.

The men’s 400m title went to Hayes' compatriot Michael Cherry, fourth in the Olympic final, who ran 44.21, with London 2012 champion and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Kirani James of Grenada just a hundredth of a second behind

Devon Allen of the US won the men’s 110m hurdles in a photo finish after he and Ronald Levy of Jamaica, the Olympic bronze medallist, clocked 13.06sec, with the Tokyo 2020 champion Hansle Parchment, Levy’s compatriot, third in 13.17.

World number one Norah Jeruto, who missed the Olympics as she seeks a transfer of allegiance from her native Kenya to Kazakhstan, showed what the Games had missed as she destroyed a field that included the Tokyo gold medallist Peruth Chemutai of Uganda in the women's 3,000m steeplechase.

Jeruto, who won at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene last month in 8min 53,65sec, putting herself third on the all-time list, won in 9:07.33 tonight from compatriot Hyvin Kiyeng in 9:08.55.

The men’s 3,000m steeplechase field virtually jogged to the 800m mark when the pacemaker peeled away, but racing did not begin in earnest until the bell, with Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali marginally misjudging his run-in and crossing the line a metre behind the faltering athlete whom he had given just a little too much slack 300m out, Benjamin Kigen of Kenya, who was a delighted winner in 8:17.45sec.

El Bakkali slapped his hands in frustration as he crossed in 8:17.70.