(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
London: The high-jump world champion, Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim made his presence felt once again when he returned to the Diamond League series at the Muller Anniversary Games and finished second behind Syria's Majd Eddin Ghazal yesterday.
At London's Olympic Stadium, where he emerged the world's best two years ago, the 2017 IAAF World Athlete of the Year cleared a mark of 2.27m as Ghazal topped with 2.30m to seal his maiden Diamond League victory. Interestingly, it was the same infield where he claimed the World Championship Bronze behind Barshim two years ago.
'I am really happy to be back, It has been a while since I have been in an arena and the Diamond League, (since) July last year. I feel great especially coming back to London. I have so many great memories of being here. I wanted to do better of course but I have things I can work on and I just need to compete more, said Barshim, who was happy to gain his rhythm back after the long break.
This was Barshim's first Diamond League competition in over a year, after being sidelined due to an injury which he suffered during an attempt on a would-be world record of 2.46m in Szekesfehervar last year.
Barshim resumed training in April before making a roaring return to action, leaping to 2.27m to win at Sopot Grand Prix Athletics in Sopot, Poland, in June.
'The high jump is very technical and you need time to get back into your rythem, but I am in the right place. I did not feel any pain today which is a good thing and I just need to compete more. he said.
'It is very important to be fit and healthy to perform on home soil in Doha, Barshim, who is looking to defend his title at the 2019 World Championships, said.
Qatar's track and field superstar has been on his road to recovery for a year and Barshim had to adapt and change his approach to training. At the same time, rest and recovery were just as important as jumping higher.
'Since the injury, my routine changed a lot. I had to be very careful with training. Listening to my body and never overloading. More recovery sessions too, that included massage and physiotherapy.,
'I missed everything about the competition. The nights before when I had to prepare my mind. I miss stepping on to the track and hearing the crowd scream my name. I miss that fight, the show, that flying moment and of course, the performance, Barshim said.
Among yesterday's other highlights at the London Stadium was Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who clocked a time of 10.78 secs in the women's 100m, her third sub-10.80 of the season.
Triple European champion Dina Asher-Smith was a distant second in 10.92, with Marie-Josee Ta Lou third in 10.98.
The surprise of the day came in the non-scoring men's 200m courtesy of China's Xie Zhenye. Fifth off the bend, the 25-year-old steadily picked off one runner after another to take an impressive win in 19.88 to smash the Asian record by 0.09. Xie, who has clocked 9.97 in the 100m, arrived in London with a 20.16 lifetime best over the half lap.
Briton Miguel Francis was second in 19.98, a season's best.