The excitement levels peaked in the women’s 5000m that produced classic head-to-head sprint finish with world champion Hellen Obiri from Kenya who fought off to a nagging European Champion Sifan Hassan to eventually retain her title at the Thursday’s Zurich Meeting.
Six women, including Obiri, Hassan and Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi and world 1500m record-holder Genzebe Dibaba, had reached the bell together – and with drama imminent.
Hassan, facing a night drive to Brussels in order to contest the 1500m in the second IAAF Diamond League final of the season, made her break on the back straight, floating to the lead, but very soon the smaller, dogged figure of Obiri, the world champion, had moved past her.
As the two women reached the straight, Hassan, an emphatic winner of the European title earlier this month, moved wide for another challenge.
The 28 year-old held to cross the line in 14:38.39 to claim one of the sixteen Diamond trophies on offer, and made away with a cool cheque of US$50,000, which was the prize.
“Before the race I felt would win,” said Obiri, who covered the final 200m in 27.39. “Finally everything came together, and I am proud.”
Hassan came in second in 14:38.77 with Teferi closing the podium three finishes in 14:40.07.