African runners stormed to World leading times at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday with Abubaker Kaki in the men’s 1000m, Augustine Choge in men's 1500m, Abeba Aregawi in the women's and a superb women’s 3000m from Sentayehu Ejigu.
Kenya's Augustine Kiprono Choge won a thrilling men's 1500m from Derese Mekonnen of Ethiopia in 3:33.23. The Ethiopian finished second in 3:33.97 with another Kenyan Bethwel Birgen third in 3:37.07.
"It felt really really good, although I really wanted something more out there, I thought I could go a bit faster, said Choge.
"I’m really happy to have run my personal best, I’m happy I did that for the fans and everyone that made the meet here today.
"I’m ready and looking forward to the World Championships later this year. I’m happy that the season has started well," he added.
Abeba Aregawi of Ethiopia showed an excellent front running technique with two laps left to win the women's 1500m in 4:03.28.
Kenyan Irene Jelagat broke her national record for second by clocking 4:06.90
ahead of two Britons, Hannah England in third (4:07.24) and Stacey Smith in fourth (4:07.42) respectively.
Sudan's world indoor 800m champion, Abubaker Kaki Khamis, failed to break Wilson Kipketer’s 11-year-old world 1000m record but still edged out Kenyan Boaz Lalang with a 2:17.75 finish.
Lalang settled for second with a personal best of 2:17.81 with his compatriot Jackson Kivuva in third with 2:18.46, also a personal best.
"The race was good. It went well, running here is very nice. I think I’m in good shape. I’m happy with it and it shows training is going well," said Kaki.
Sentayehu Ejigu of Ethiopia produced superb women’s 3000m racing away from a high class field to win in 8:30.26 - the fourth fastest of all time.
Her compatriot Kelkidan Gezahegn finished second, smashing her lifetime best time by nine seconds in 8:37.47 with Kenyan Mercy Njoroge third in a personal best 8:39.70.
Ghana’s Ignisious Gaisah was second in the men's Long Jump with a best of 7.78m behind Sweden’s Michel Torneus (7.97).
1) Sentayehu Ejigu (Ethiopia) 8:30.26 (SR)
2) Kalkidan Gezahegn (Ethiopia) 8:37.47 (PB)
3) Mercy Njoroge (Kenya) 8:39.70 (PB)
1) Augustine Choge (Kenya) 3:33.23 (PB)
2) Derese Mekonnen (Ethiopia) 3:33.97 (SB)
3) Bethwel Birgen (Kenya) 3:37.07
1) Nigel Levine (GBR) 46.17 (PB)
2) Rabah Yousif (Sudan) 46.24 (NR)
3) Calvin Smith (USA) 46.76 (SB)
1) Abeba Aregawi (Ethiopia) 4:03.28 (PB)
2) Irene Jelagat (Kenya) 4:06.90 (NR)
3) Hannah England (GBR) 4:07.24 (PB)
Women's Long Jump
1) Michel Torneus (Sweden) 7.97
2) Ignisious Gaisah (Ghana) 7.78
3) Rogerio Bispo (Brazil) 7.77 (SB)
1) Abubaker Kaki (Sudan) 2:17.75 (SB)
2) Boaz Lalang (Kenya) 2:17.81 (PB)
3) Jackson Kivuva (Kenya) 2:18.46 (PB)
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