A chaotic women’s 3000m steeplechase provided some level of answer to the question about what would have happened last week in Rome when world champion Emma Coburn came to grief at the final water jump.
This time around, it boiled down to a head-to-head clash with Hyvin Kiyeng of Kenya – her conqueror that day – and Kiyeng proved that Rome win was no fluke.
After a swift opening kilometre of 3:01.80, the pace slowed considerably and 2000m was reached in 6:09.42. Soon after the Kenyan seized command, opening an eight-metre lead on Coburn on the final lap, which the American began to close around the last turn. Kiyeng was all out down the home straight to hold off Coburn, but that she did, 9:09.63 to 9:09.70, with Daisy Chepkemei third in 9:16.87.
“It was all about the win, I was not thinking about times at all,” said Kiyeng. “I had some injuries in Rome and wanted to continue winning. Fast times will come in July.”
World silver medallist Courtney Frerichs finished fourth with Commonwealth champion Aisha Praught fifth, both athletes hampered badly by an early barrier which was set to the wrong height, a mistake that was rectified minutes later by officials after Coburn – and her husband Joe Bosshard – did their best to bring it to their attention.
“After the stress, the pace slowed down a lot but today was a step in the right direction for me,” said Coburn. “I hope to come back here again and next it will take a perfect night and all of the stars to align for me to run sub-nine minutes but I’m hopeful – maybe in Monaco.”
In the men’s 1500m, a non-Diamond League event, Britain’s Chris O’Hare spoiled the Norwegian party that had begun to break out with 300m to run, the point at which 17-year-old Wunderkind Jakob Ingebrigtsen seized control at the front after the pacemakers dropped out following a 2:54.39 first 1200m.
Ingebrigtsen led into the final bend but O’Hare changed gears with alacrity with 120 metres to run, taking the lead and battling bravely up the home straight to fend off the challenge of Ingebrigtsen and Robby Andrews. O’Hare was all out to the line to hold on in 3:35.96, inches ahead of Andrews (3:36.05), with Ingebrigtsen having to settle for third on this occasion, rewarded with a PB of 3:36.06.
“I’ve had a rough six months as I’ve been injured,” said O’Hare. “I wasn’t invited into the Dream Mile so I wanted to prove myself and I did.”
The men’s 10,000m saw Kenya’s Dominic Kiptarus take victory in 28:05.34 from Australia’s Stewart McSweyn (28:35.37) and Switzerland’s Julien Wanders (28:07.15). Norway’s marathon specialist Sondre Moen finished fifth in 28:37.92.
At an event renowned for its rich history, it was heartening to see a sell-out crowd fill the stadium for the first time in several years, the sure sign of an athletics meeting in rude health.