Four Kenyans won their respective races at the 2016 Birmingham Diamond League meet. Asbel Kiprop and Consesulus Kipruto won the 1500m and 3000m steeplechase in world leading times while David Rudisha fello short of his world record attempt but still won the 600m in the second fastest time ever. Veteran Vivian Cheruiyot showed that she is a serious Olympic gold medal contender when she won the women’s 5000m.
Conseslus Kipruto unstoppable in 2016
Conseslus Kipruto has for the past two years lived in the shadows of his more illustrious compatriots like Ezekiel Kemboi. And while Jairus Birech dominated in 2015. This season as been Kipruto’s coming out party. He has won all four Diamond League races in Doha, Rabat, Rome and now Birmingham with a world leading time of 8:00.12. He set out on a torrid pace leaving the rest of the field in his wake. He covered the first 1000m in world record pace. The crowd roared him on so he could go sub 8:00.00. However he could not sustain the pace. Still he finished 60 metres ahead of the rest of the field just as he did in Rome.
The evergreen Paul Kipsiele Koech who has been running at this level since 2002 finished second in 8:10.19. Kipsiele’s longevity is amazing. He has been able to run at such a high level for 14 years. Jairus Birech who was the only to challenge Kipruto in Rome, finished a distant 5th this time as Kenyans occupied the top 6 positions.
Asbel Kiprop in dominant form
Going into the 1500m, Asbel Kiprop indicated that he wanted to run a fast race. He did not dissapoint as he clocked 3:29.33 to finish four seconds ahead of second placed Abdilaati Iguider. Kiprop thus set a new world leading time to top the previous one he set earlier in the season.
Kiprop has indicated that he wants to make amends for having missed a medal at the 2012 games and running in dominant fashion helps build hos confidence ahead of Rio.
“Getting the Diamond Race points are important as well. It helps in training as well and makes you confident ahead of the (world) championships.” he said.
Former world championship silver medalist Silas Kiplagat finished 6th and will find it difficult to qualify for the Rio games. Aside from Kiprop, he will have to contend with Elijah Manangoi, James Magut and possibly Rober Biwott.
David Rudisha misses world record
David Rudisha won the rarely run 600 metres. He had set out to break the world record which was set at 1:12.81 by American Gray in 1986. Rudisha won his race in 1:13.10 which is now the second fastest time ever.
The fact that Rudisha is confident enough to pursue a world record of any kind bodes well for his prospects in Rio. It means he has recovered from the injuries that plagued him between 2012 and 2015.
Vivian Cheruiyot beats a strong field.
Vivian Cheruiyot made her experience pay when he pipped compatriot Mercy Cherono in the women’s 5000m, winning in 15:12.79. Cherono was a close second in 15:12.85. Cheruiyot’s favoured race is the 10,000m. And this is the race he will likely run at the Rio Olympics. Winning the 5000m is a confidence booster because it shows that she can win fast races. It was her final lap speed that enabled her to win the 10,000m at the world championships last year. In that race, she ousprinted Ethiopian miler Gelete Burka. And in fairness to Cherono, she was likely fatigued after chasing Almaz Ayana in Rome. The Ethiopian came within a whisker of breaking the world record.
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