Aussie world champs beaten in Brussels

·3-min read

Australian world champions Eleanor Patterson and Kelsey-Lee Barber have been brought down to earth with Diamond League field event defeats in Brussels.

On a night when Aussie middle-distance star Stewart McSweyn dipped under 13 minutes in the 5000 metres for the first time, high jumper Patterson had to settle for the runner's up spot while javelin ace Barber finished fourth amid high-quality fare on Friday.

It was a frustrating night for Patterson, who also failed to qualify for the Diamond League final in Zurich next week, although her domestic rival Nicola Olyslagers made it.

The Aussie pair's eagerly awaited duel never materialised at the Commonwealth Games, and in Brussels both ended up being upstaged by brilliant young Ukrainian victor Yaroslava Mahuchikh.

Mahuchikh had been beaten by Patterson on a countback at the worlds in Eugene just over six weeks ago after clearing 2.02m, but the 21-year-old Ukrainian upped her game, equalling her national record with a 2.05m clearance.

She even had a reasonable crack at 2.10m, which would have added one centimetre to the world record of Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinova, which has stood for 35 years.

But Patterson could only manage 1.94m, three centimetres more than third-placed Olyslagers, who was back after missing the Commonwealth Games with a torn calf muscle.

"Obviously it is heartbreaking I am not in the top six," said Patterson.

"I have only competed in two Diamond Leagues this year - Stockholm, which I won, and today but unfortunately I was injured with a stress hotspot/stress fracture prior to the world championships."

Barber couldn't get in the javelin frame with her best effort of 61.07m.

Kara Winger, silver medallist behind her in Eugene, had an inspired night with the 36-year-old hurling a world-leading 68.11m, breaking the US national record.

The ever-versatile McSweyn broke 13 minutes in the 5000m for the first time, clocking 12min 56.50sec - far better than his 13:05.23 set on the same track in 2018 - and just missing out on Craig Mottram's 18-year-old national record of 12:55.76.

But the Tasmanian still could only settle for sixth in a race of searing quality, won by Kenya's 21-year-old world silver medallist Jacob Krop (12:45.71), who sped away from American Grant Fisher on the home straight.

"I was in pretty good shape and thought I could run a PB, but to run 12:56 is a big step forward for me," said McSweyn.

"I wasn't really focusing on records too much tonight. Hopefully with better preparation there is a lot more time there to take off my PB."

A quality women's 1500m featured Ireland's Ciara Mageean shattering her national mark in 3:56.63, while Australian Georgia Griffith finished eighth in 4:02.96 and national record holder Jess Hull was down in 12th (4:07.20).

On the international front, it was a night of shocks in the women's 100m with Jamaica's Shericka Jackson handing compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce her first defeat of the season by 0.01sec in 10.73.

Fraser-Pryce said she would listen to her body before making a decision on running in Zurich.

Sweden's pole vault world record holder Armand Duplantis, a six-time winner in the League this year, was upset after failing to clear 5.91m - 30cm below his world record - leaving Filipino Ernest John Obiena a surprised victor.

"I am human and I make mistakes and I definitely did some today. I didn't find good rhythm on the runway today," shrugged Duplantis.