Silas Kiplagat produced the most thrilling performance of the evening when he out-sprinted compatriot Asbel Kiprop to win the 1500m at the Herculis Diamond league meet in Monaco. In the process he stole the thunder of Kiprop who had announced that he was going for the world record. Kiplagat also became the 4th fastest 1500m runner in history with a time of 3:27.64 behind only Hicham El Guerrouj, Bernard Lagat and Nourredine Morceli.
Kiplagat was elated and hinted that he would also mount an attempt on the world record. “I have the fast time now, but why not be faster and attack the world record?” he said. “I’m still young and ready to train for it. I always run well here, so I’m thinking my win and result is no surprise. I was aware I can do it.”
Kiprop for his part conceded defeat. At 1200m I knew the race was too slow,” said Kiprop. “We went through in 2.47 and I had asked for 2.45. In the home straight, I could see the others behind me on the big screen and I knew they would get back on me. I could see Silas coming closer and closer. It was a tough race.”
Rudisha slumps to 5th place
Last week we excitedly announced that Rudisha was back to his imperious form after 1 year off with an injury. However it appears that he still has a long way to go. He finished 5th in a race that was won by Nijel Amos who curiously had lost to Asbel Kiprop in the 800m two weeks ago.
As usual Rudisha ran behind his favourite pacemaker Sammy Tangui and took over the lead at the 400m mark. he kept the lead until the 700m mark when Nijel Amos caught up with him and surged. Rudisha had no answer for the surge. Amos won a season leading 1:42.45
The other Kenyan, Ferguson Rotich Cheruiyot, finished fourth in a personal best of 1:42.84. Rudisha was 5th in 1:42.98 , a season’s best for him.
Rudisha will have to contend with Amos again during the forthcoming Commonwealth games.
Jairus Birech continues impressive run
Kenya’s Jairus Birech continued his domination in the steeplechase Friday, winning his fourth straight DL steeple to clinch the Diamond Race title. Even more impressively, Birech did all the front running on his own. He later complained that the pace makers were too slow. Birech won in 8:03.33 , a massive 6 seconds ahead of Conselus Kipruto who was second in 8:09.81. Hillary Yego won in 8:10.23.
Sum beaten to second place
One of the biggest casualties of the evening was Eunice Sum who was beaten by American Ajee Wilson. The high flying Sum has dominated this race ever since she surprised everyone by winning the world championships last year.
Sum had the lead with 100m left but Wilson passed her at the final bend. A key difference between the two was Wilson’s smooth movement and economy of motion as opposed to Sum who was wasting a lot of energy flailing her arms and running with a jerky motion.
In the women’s 5000m , the fastest Kenyan was Viola Kibiwot who finished 3rd in 14:33.73. Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia won in a world leading 14:28.88. Sally Kipyego and Betsy Saina finished 4th and 5th respectively.