Hellen Onsando Obiri sets a new African and Kenyan record in the women’s 3000m at the Doha leg of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League on Friday night as she led a Kenya sweep home.
Hellen Obiri edged a sprint battle with compatriot Mercy Cherono with 40m to go, to win in 8:20.68 – also a Diamond League record and the fastest time in the world this year. Obiri’s time also puts her in 5th position on the all-time list for the event.
Hellen Obiri and her Kenyan compatriots absolutely crushed the world Indoor 3000m champion and record-holder, Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia in the last 200m as the Ethiopian collapsed into 6th place at the finish, despite running a personal best.
Cherono finished second in a lifetime best time off 8:21.14 ahead of young Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, third in 8:23.55 with Viola Kibiwot fourth with a personal best of 8:24.41.
Almaz Ayana finished as first Ethiopian home in fifth place – her time of 8:24.58 being a personal best, as was Dibaba’s effort of 8:26.21, well inside her previous best outdoor mark from last year of 8:37.00.
“I don’t know what went wrong,” Dibaba said after the race. “I didn’t feel good from the beginning of the race.”
I am proud that I managed to break the meet record and I am also aiming to attack my PB this season. My biggest target is to defend my world title in Beijing next year. Now, important competition will be the World Relays for me.” [Asbel Kiprop]
However, the major upset of the day was not the defeat of the World indoor record-holder, Genzebe Dibaba, but the crushing victory of little-known Nigerian-born Kemi Adekoya, running for Bahrain, ahead of more established names.
Kemi Adekoya clocked a world leading 54.59 secs to win the women’s 400m hurdles with Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer second in 55.07 and Eilidh Child of Great Britain third in 55.43 secs. Race favourite, Lashinda Demus of the USA could only finished fourth in a season’s best 55.67 secs.
Adekoya, 21, who has been training all winter in Bahrain, said she ‘did not expect to win the race’.
“There are so many great professional athletes running here and I was so scared to run against them. I can tell you I really pushed like never before. And I am ready to show even more of it.
“I am aiming at 53 seconds now and I know I am able to do it. It will surely happen. The heat was no problem for me and I hope that I will fight for the Diamond Trophy also at later meetings,” she added.
Kenya’s double world champion Asbel Kiprop glided clear in the final 40m to win the men’s 1500m race, which saw a record six men finish inside 3:31.00, clocking a world-leading 3:29.18 which was also a meeting record.
Kiprop’s compatriot Silas Kiplagat, who had set the meeting record of 3:29.63 the previous year, moved through to take second place in 3:29.70, with Souleiman being rewarded in third place with a national record of 3:30.16.
Algeria’s Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi came fourth in a personal best of 3:30.40, ahead of Kenyan James Magut, who also clocked a personal best with 3:30.61. Aman Wote’s sixth place earned him an Ethiopian record of 3:30.86.
“Everybody was running so fast and all the guys were so strong today. With all the great atmosphere, full stadium, great weather – I think it was the race to see here in Doha today, says Asbel Kiprop after the race.
“I am proud that I managed to break the meet record and I am also aiming to attack my PB this season. My biggest target is to defend my world title in Beijing next year. Now, important competition will be the World Relays for me.”
The World indoor and outdoor champion Mohammed Aman edged the men’s 800m battle with his friend Nijel Amos to win in 1:44.49. Amos, the London 2012 Olympics silver medallist had to settle for a season’s best of 1:44.54 in second position.
In the women’s 100m, World and Olympic champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica held on for an 11.13 secs victory ahead of a fast finishing Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria (11.18 secs).
- Hellen Onsando OBIRI (KEN) 8:20.68 | AR,DLR
- Mercy CHERONO (KEN) 8:21.14 PB
- Faith Chepngetich KIPYEGON (KEN) 8:23.55
- Viola Jelagat KIBIWOT (KEN) 8:24.41 PB
- Almaz AYANA (ETH) 8:24.58 PB
- Genzebe DIBABA (ETH) 8:26.21 PB
- Irene JELAGAT (KEN) 8:28.51
- Mimi BELETE (BRN) 8:30.00 PB
- Senbere TEFERI (ETH) 8:41.54 PB
- Alemitu HAROYE (ETH) 8:45.93 PB
- Agnes Jebet TIROP (KEN) 8:47.26
- KIPROP Asbel (KEN) 3:29.18 WL,MR
- KIPLAGAT Silas (KEN) 3:29.70 SB
- SOULEIMAN Ayanleh (DJI) 3:30.16 NR
- MAKHLOUFI Taoufik (ALG) 3:30.40 PB
- MAGUT James Kiplagat (KEN) 3:30.61 PB
- WOTE Aman (ETH) 3:30.86 NR
- BIRGEN Bethwell (KEN) 3:31.22
3000m Steeplechase Men
- KEMBOI Ezekiel (KEN) 8:04.12 WL
- KIPRUTO Brimin Kiprop (KEN) 8:04.64
- KOECH Paul Kipsiele (KEN) 8:05.47
- BIRECH Jairus Kipchoge (KEN) 8:07.37
- YEGO Hillary Kipsang (KEN) 8:09.07
- KIRUI Gilbert (KEN) 8:11.86
- MUTAI Abel Kiprop (KEN) 8:17.77
Yomi is the founder of Africa's number one track and field website - AthleticsAfrica. A multi award-winning editor, journalism innovator, media trainer, sports and digital transformation consultant.