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Exciting distance races at the 2019 Muller Anniversary Games, London

July 28, 2019
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Hellen Obiri after winning the women's 5000m in London

It almost felt like a world championship week this weekend during the two-day Muller Diamond League meeting in London. There were many great races that had almost all the main contenders that will likely to turn up at the finals of the world championships in Doha and added to the venue; the London Stadium, in which the 2012 Olympics and the 2017 world championships were done, it was bound to be a meeting to remember.

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There were a lot of expectations in the men’s 800m race given that Nijel Amos had just run 1:41.89 at the Monaco Diamond League and knew exactly how close he was to breaking the world record. The race was to happen in the same facility where he set his personal best time of 1:41.73 in 2012 when he had finished second to David Rudisha who had broken the world record.

However, less than 50m into the race, Nijel clutched his thigh and sat down on the track appearing to be in pain. Ferguson Rotich became the eventual winner in an impressive 1:43.14 ahead of his countryman, Wyclife Kinyamal in 1:43.48. Marcin Lewandowski took third in 1:43.73.

Laura Muir delighted the home crowd with a strong finish from the last 150m to win the women’s 1500m race in a clear margin as she crossed the finish line in 3:58.25 almost two seconds ahead of Winny Chebet who finished second in 1:59.93. Gabriela Debues-Stafford registered a new Canadian record of 4:00.26.

One of the most exciting races on the second day of the Muller Diamond League meeting was the women’s 5000m. With Sifan Hassan having just set the 1-mile world record recently, it was interesting to see if she would do something special again in the 5000m event.

The race was relatively fast from the beginning, but a large pack kept together at the front until almost the last kilometer when Hassan eased to the front and disintegrated the whole field into a single file. Only Hellen Obiri and Agnes Tirop were able to go with her. With about 200m to go, Obiri kicked harder and overtook her. Tirop also ran past the struggling Hassan with about 50 meters to go.

Obiri registered a world-leading and a meeting record time of 14:20.36 to win the exciting race. Tirop came in second with a new personal best time of 14:20.68. In third place, Hassan finished within 14:22.12 bettering her European record.

The men’s 1 mile on day 2 had some interesting similarities with the men’s 5000m race on day 1. The Ingebrigtsen brothers both ran national records and finished second in their respective races. Jacob ran 13:02.03 in the 5000m race that was won by Hagos Gebrhiwet in 13:01.86. Filip ran 3:49.60 in the 1-mile race that was won by Samuel Tafera in a world leading and personal best time of 3:49.45.

Lynsey Sharp won the women’s 800m in 1:58.61 ahead of Australia’s Catriona Bisset who ran a new national record of 1:58.78. Alexandra Bell finished third in a personal best time of 1:59.82.

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