Kenya's Abel Kipsang, who still has the world-leading time of 3:31.01 that he registered at the Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour event in Nairobi, continued to show his dominance in the men’s 1500m after extending his lead in the home stretch to win the race in 3:35.15 on the second league of the Diamond League meeting series in Birmingham. Mohamed Katir of Spain came second in 3:35.62 ahead of Australia’s Oliver Hoare who followed in 3:35.76.
Another star that excited the crowds was the 20-year-old Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain. In a great show of fresh talent, she did well in representing the new crop of youngsters taking over the women’s 800m distance after narrowly missing the world-leading time to win the race in 1:58.63. The world-leading time of 1:58.18 is being held by another 20-year-old; Prudence Sekgodiso of South Africa after she surprised everyone at the Kip Keino Classic World Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi. France’s Renelle Lamote ran 1:59.53 for second place while Jamaica’s Natoya Goule took third in 2:00.13.
It will be interesting to see how the two emerging stars; Abel Kipsang and Keely Hodgkinson will fare at the Eugene Diamond League meeting this coming weekend.
Besides competing for points on the second leg of the diamond league series in Birmingham, it was also a chance for the athletes to test the newly revamped Alexander Stadium track ahead of the Commonwealth Games that will happen later in the year from 28th July to 8th August.
Laura Muir ran 4:02.81 to win the women’s 1500m race after taking an early lead running just behind the pacesetter before taking over the lead and pacing herself to the finish line. Australia’s Jessica Hull took second in 4:03.42 ahead of Kenya’s Winny Chebet who came in for third place in a seasonal best time of 4:05.56.
Marco Arop of Canada, after finishing 3rd in the diamond league opener in Doha last week, emerged victorious today in a seasonal best 1:45.41 in the men’s 800m after a strong finishing kick in the last 150m of the race that could not be matched by the rest. Interestingly, Peter Bol who had finished second ahead of Arop in Doha would finish 9th here. Benjamin Robert of France came second in 1:46.22 ahead of USA’s Bryce Hoppel who finished in 1:46.33.
After a leading pack of six remained with two laps to go, three Ethiopians suddenly sprinted away as they came to the bell and dominated the women’s 5000m race with Dawit Seyaum running a world-leading time and a new meeting record of 14:47.55 for the win. Hawi Feysa ran 14:48.94 for second place.
Fantu Worku who had controlled the better part of the race as she led from around the 2000m up to the last 1000m of the race eventually took third place in 14:49.64.