Kiprop, Kiyeng, Chepng’etich star in Oregon
Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon staged another track and field spectacle on Saturday with world champions, Asbel Kiprop and Hyvin Kiyeng as well as Beijing silver medallist, Faith Chepng’etich adding the Kenyan flavour to resounding performances all round.
Despite being beaten to second by his sometimes training partner, Egypt’s Ihab Abelrahman, Javelin champion, Julius Yego also left the fourth IAAF Diamond League meeting satisfied with an improved showing after a limp start in Ostrava.
Kiyeng shattered the African and national record in the women 3000m steeplechase and moved to third in the all time list after blasting to 9:00.01 in a race where the world record got a huge scare.
Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet was on world record pace as she broke away from the pack as the final laps ticked off. With one lap remaining, a time under nine minutes looked possible and with a 68.8 last lap she could break the world record.
But the expected last lap duel between Jebet -who declared for the Gulf State under controversial circumstances having run for her nation of birth at the East African junior championships- and the clock became a bit more complex when Kiyeng started cutting into her lead.
Over the final barrier, the world champion drew even closer, but she didn’t quite have enough in the tank to catch the 2014 world junior champion Jebet who, remarkably is still only 19.
Jebet’s finishing time of 8:59.97 put her just outside of Gulnara Gulkina’s world record of 8:58.81 but she did set an Asian record and became the second woman to break nine minutes in the event.
While most of the attention was on the dramatic last 200 metres between Jebet and Kiyeng, after numerous other attempts in the last two seasons, Emma Coburn finished third and set a US record, clocking 9:10.67.
Chepng’etich followed the rabbit in the early part of the women’s 1500m and then took control in the later stages to win in a world-leading time of 3:56.41.
The time broke her own Kenyan record that she set just two weeks ago when winning at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai.
She raced clear of Dawit Seyaum and 19-year-old Gudaf Tsegay over the last lap, the Ethiopian pair being towed to personal bests of 3:58.10 and 4:00.18 in second and third.
Kiprop once again looked effortless as he won the Bowerman Mile.
The Kenyan moved from fourth to second on the back straight of the final lap before settling in behind Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider.
He then stayed on Iguider’s shoulder through the final turn before making a confident move to the front and then winning in 3:51.45, with Iguider second in 3:51.96.
In the Javelin, Yego had victory stolen from under his feet by world championships silver medallist Abelrahman who set a meeting and stadium record of 87.37m with his final throw.
It also equalled the world-lead set by Germany’s Thomas Rohler in Ostrava eight days ago.
Yego led the competition since the opening round when he posted a mark of 84.68m, itself a meet record, but couldn’t respond with his own final throw. Rohler, on this occasion, finished third with 82.53m.
In the men 5000m, there were nine men in the lead pack with two laps remaining in but Canada’s Mo Ahmed broke up the jam with a bold push to the front.
Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris and Geoffrey Kamworor followed Ahmed as the list of contenders dwindled to three. Ahmed held his position until the final curve when Edris and Kamworor sped past.
On the homestretch, Edris moved to the lead and held on for the win in 12:59.43, his second consecutive Diamond Race victory after also winning in Shanghai two weeks ago.
Two-time world half marathon champion Kamworor finished second in 12:59.98 while Ahmed set a national record with 13:01.74 in third place.
Ferguson Rotich was denied a second victory in the circuit by World Indoor champion, Boris Berian who was able to maintain his lead and win in 1:44.20 ahead of the Kenyan who came second in 1:44.56.
-Material and images from IAAF (iaaf.org) used to compile this report
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