Kinyamal sparkles as records fall in Shanghai DL


Wycliffe Kinyamal of Kenya reacts after winning in the men's 800m event event of the ...
Wycliffe Kinyamal of Kenya reacts after winning in the men's 800m event event of the IAAF Diamond League Shanghai athletics competition, in Shanghai on May 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE

In Summary

  • Kenya’s new 800m ace Wycliffe Kinyamal lit up a muggy night in the Shanghai Stadium on Saturday for the second meeting of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League season
  • If the opening meeting of the world’s premier athletics circuit belonged to the one-lappers, then the second was the domain of the middle-distance runners, as Commonwealth champion Kinyamal went inside 1:44 for the second time in his career to win in a meeting record, world lead and personal best of 1:43.91

Kenya’s new 800m ace Wycliffe Kinyamal lit up a muggy night in the Shanghai Stadium on Saturday for the second meeting of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League season.

If the opening meeting of the world’s premier athletics circuit belonged to the one-lappers, then the second was the domain of the middle-distance runners, as Commonwealth champion Kinyamal went inside 1:44 for the second time in his career to win in a meeting record, world lead and personal best of 1:43.91.

Bram Som took the pack through the first lap in 51.20, with Jonathan Kitilit in first and Brandon McBride just behind in third. With 250 metres remaining, 20-year-old Kinyamal began motoring.

Kitilit wouldn’t give up the goat, and the pair continued to duel through to the home straight. As both athletes began to tie up, Kinyamal edged into the lead within the final 20 metres to win, finishing 0.04 ahead of Kitilit.

“A PB and meeting record, the race was fine,” demurred Kinyamal. “We were fighting for the last 100 metres, but I was stronger and I knew it. I come from the same village as Rudisha, he was always my example. Now I take over.”

Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski beat the chase to finish third in 1:45.41.

Cheruiyot off to a flyer

Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya reacts after winning in the men's 1500m event of the IAAF Diamond League Shanghai athletics competition, in Shanghai on May 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE

An equally entertaining men’s 1500m saw another Kenyan prosper in a home straight battle.

A hot pace was set from the start, Cornelius Kiplangat leading them through 800 metres in 1:53. Young Ethiopian Samuel Tefera found himself at the front after the pacer dropped out, the world indoor champion looking startled before taking up the running. Abdelaati Iguider gave chase as Timothy Cheruiyot, who had been in second, sat in third.

The 2017 Diamond League champion Cheruiyot moved through the final bend, and although Tefera still held the lead on the straight, 22-year-old Cheruiyot‘s long stride saw him go first late to stop the clock in 3:31.48 – the fastest time by anyone this year.

Cheruiyot never doubted his kick. “I was sure I was going to win the race,” he said. “I needed to run a good time, and this race is good for the Diamond League points.”

Tefera recorded a personal best of 3:31.63, taking him to eighth on the world U20 all-time list, and finished more than a second ahead of Iguider.

Meeting record for McNeal

Brianna McNeal of the United States reacts after winning in the women's 100m hurdle event of the IAAF Diamond League Shanghai athletics competition, in Shanghai on May 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE

Brianna McNeal continued her strong start to the season by winning the women’s 100m hurdles. World record-holder Kendra Harrison was smartest out of the blocks but faded at half way, as US indoor champion Sharika Nelvis – who celebrated her birthday yesterday – moved into the lead.

However, Olympic champion McNeal, who owns the world lead of 12.43, emerged off the last barrier to set a meeting record of 12.50, her first win on the IAAF Diamond League circuit since June 2016.

“I feel great and it was an intense competition,” said McNeal. “Other athletes are very strong. It was a big motivation to me to win in Shanghai after finishing second in Doha.”

US athletes occupied the top four spots, as Nelvis came home second ahead of Harrison and Jasmin Stowers.

-Read more of this report here…

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