Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew was the surprise winner of the men’s 5000m at Lausanne’s Athletissima Diamond League Meeting that was held on Thursday (5) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The 22 year-old ran a personal best and world-leading time of 13:01.09 – but his victory was almost a footnote after an extraordinary incident on the final bend between the two young Ethiopians who had been contesting the lead, 20-year-old Yomif Kejelcha and his 18-year-old compatriot Selemon Barega.
Kejelcha, who had burst into the lead at the bell, began stumbling as they approached the final straight, but as he fell he grabbed hold of Barega’s shorts and dragged him out into lane three.
After Balew, who had followed Barega home in the last Diamond League 5000m, had cruised past, Barega recovered to cross the line in an astonishingly, a season’s best of 13:02.67.
Hadis Abadi also from Ethiopia finished third while Richard Yator from Kenya took fifth place in 13:04.04 and 13:04.97 respectively.