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LAWRENCE CLARKE COLUMN: Leading lights had final peak
6:00pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
THE past two weeks have seen the closing meetings of the Diamond League athletics series.
Dominated by the 100m appearances of Usain Bolt at both events, despite the fact that only Zurich contained an official Diamond League race, the series culminated in some top performances to cap off the year.
Most of the newly crowned world champions were out in force to bolster their dominance of global track and field.
Lashawn Merritt, the 400m gold medallist, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, arguably the highlight of the series in the women’s 100m, and Teddy Tamgho, the triple-jump champion, all took centre stage.
With the trials of Moscow behind them, it is always surprising to see athletes once again lift themselves to victory at these meetings, which are the pinnacle of the professional sport.
We saw an athlete like Christine Ohuruogu clearly give her all in Moscow, so to rise to the challenge in the Diamond League was always unlikely.
It is often the athletes who failed to live up to the pressure in major championships who deliver late in the season.
However, the special nature of some of these champions means that they are still riding the wave of confidence since topping the podium.
Last year I was in the Brussels meeting in the lane next to Aries Merritt, the Olympic Champion in the 110m hurdles, when he shattered the world record in 12.80secs.
The focus that he had was unbelievable. He had gone from strength to strength following the Olympic Games and he was untouchable in the Diamond League.
That sort of quality is what secures the place of athletes in the hall of fame.
This year we saw Bolt maintain his dominance in the 100m with 9.90 in Zurich and 9.80 in Brussels.
He has proved that in and out of major championships he has the resilience and talent to maintain a position at the top of global track and field.
That ability is what has helped him become an icon in the sport, delivering throughout the year.
The Diamond League saw many champions compete with renewed determination and others happy to see Moscow as the peak of their year.
Not everyone has the perennial glory, but some make it last longer than others when they get the chance.
After all next season is a new season with new and harder challenges, 2013 belonged to a select few.
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