Athletics: Kiwi Hamish Kerr soars to second-place finish at Diamond League athletics meet

  • 01/09/2023

Kiwi Hamish Kerr has bounced back to finish second in the men's high jump at the Diamond League athletics meet in Zurich on Friday (NZ time).

Brushing off the disappointment of missing out on the finals at last week's world championships, Kerr soared to the second highest jump of his career, clearing 2.33m - just 1cm shy of his national record.

The 27-year-old traded blows with Olympic champion Mutaz Barshim, until the Qatari knocked off a 2.35m clearance.

Kerr says he has "mixed feelings" regarding his podium finish in Switzerland, revealing he'd come close to cutting his season short after his failure in Hungary - where he only managed a best jump of 2.22m.

"I did not make the final in Budapest, but I have shown the world how strong I am," Kerr said.  "I wished I had done that in Budapest. 

"When I cleared 2.31m, I did not even know that I was that high, I was like in a tunnel. When I am in the competition I just jump and do not look too much at the height.  

"I was the saddest person after qualification (at the World Championships), and I left Budapest straight away to go on holiday with my girlfriend in Croatia. I wanted to go home after the holiday and end the season, but I thought, 'let's just enjoy the (rest of the) season', so I decided to jump here. I am glad about that."

Zoe Hobbs.
Zoe Hobbs. Photo credit: Getty Images

In other NZ action at the meet, sprinter Zoe Hobbs placed seventh in the women's 100m field with a time of 11.14s.

At last week's world champs, Hobbs missed out on the final by an agonising 0.1s, recording a time of 11.02 in Budapest.

American Sha'Carri Richardson cemented her status as the fastest sprinter in the world this year by placing first.

Richardson, who captured her first world 100m title in Budapest last week in a sizzling 10.65 seconds, pulled away from the field over the final 30m  in Zurich to cross in 10.88.

Runner Sam Tanner completed the Kiwi contingent's effort with an 11th-place finish in the men's 1500m, clocking in at 3m 32.16s - less than a second shy of his personal best.