Under a lush summer sun hundreds of spectators gathered to watch elite athletics in a cozy urban setting. Vice world champion Sarah Mitton took an early lead with a 19m69 throw on her first attempt, extending her lead to 19m76 on throw four.
That didn't suffice for victory, being overhauled by world champion Chase Ealey in round five. The American snatched the lead with 20m05, with nobody coming close in the sixth round. Ealey (20m05) won ahead of Mitton (19m76) and fellow American Maggie Ewan (19m64).
On Friday night all the remaining disciplines of the 47th Allianz Memorial Van Damme will be contested inside the King Baudouin Stadium, with over 35,000 spectators expected in Brussels.
Chase Ealy, 1st
"It took me a while to get going, but you know it only takes one throw. The beginning of the season was a little rough, then I focused on the world championships. After that I’ve just found it kind of hard to find the motivation. I think this meet has gotten me ready for my last meet, the Diamond League final in Eugene. Just trying to keep the ball rolling, trying get through the last meet and go to vacation in Australia to visit my friend. City events are my favourites, we have all the attention, that feels good. I like to not worry whether they are showing us on the TV or no. I just kind of wing the make-up every time. I had some butterflies, but I sweat them off at the warm-up, and got stuck to Fanny’s shoes. It’s part of my process to get ready for my competition."
Sarah Mitton, 2nd
"The competition was good, I had a really good series of throwing. I think like all my throws were 19+ and I had a couple of fouls. Coming off of worlds is a big emotional drain so I building back that consistency is nice. So I am excited to go to Eugene and hope to put out a bigger performance there. It is in there somewhere. City events are amazing, I have only thrown outside of the stadium once before and it was super amazing to have all the crowd so close to the shot put. It gives the fans a different kind of interaction. There were on the mic the whole time hyping us, that is amazing. This year I really improved my bottom level, so my consistency has been really high and I have seen that with the world silver, my highlight so far. I am really looking forward to next year and add a little bit more too it to get some bigger throws."