Kelly Holmes won the 1500m (4:04.06) but her victory in a modest field commanded less attention than those of Chris Rawlinson and Phillips Idowu. In Athens, though, neither British man would challenge for a medal while Holmes – the future Dame Kelly – would win double gold at 800/1500m.
Rawlinson defeated strong Olympic medal contenders James Carter, from the United States, and Danny McFarlane, from Jamaica, recording 48.48. In Athens, McFarlane would take silver, and Carter would place fourth, while Rawlinson did not reach the final.
Idowu beat the competitors with the three longest marks of the year – Melvin Lister and Walter Davis, from the United States, and Brazil’s Jadel Gregorio. Only Gregorio would make the top five in Athens while Idowu would be unable to repeat his form at Crystal Palace, where he won with 17.47 (+0.2 m/s).
Other British winners in this IAAF Super Grand Prix meeting, held in warm weather, were Lee McConnell in the women’s 400m (51.33), Jade Johnson in the women’s long jump with 6.65 (+0.1) and Chris Lambert in the men’s 200m in 20.50 (-0.5 m/s). Steve Backley, four-time European champion in his farewell appearance on his home track, finished runner-up in the men’s javelin, throwing 83.42 behind Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen’s 84.45.
For the third time in five weeks in Britain, Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva collected a $50,000 bonus for a women’s pole vault World record. Following her 4.87 in Gateshead (June 27) and 4.89 in Birmingham (July 25), she jumped 4.90. Asafa Powell ran the fastest 100m seen in Britain, recording 9.91 (-0.3 m/s) and Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie clocked the fastest 5000m (12:55.51) after a thrilling battle with Australia’s Craig Mottram (12:55.76).