Kenya’s Edward Cheserek defended his title at the 36th edition of the Carlsbad 5000 which is the ‘World’s Fastest 5k’ held on Sunday (22) in Carlsbad, California.
The 28-year-old averaged a pace of 4:25 per mile to barely hold off Reid Buchanan, when he cut the tape in 13:44 with the latter coming in second place a second later with Jack Bruce from Australia closing the podium three finishes in 14:04.
Three years ago, the 17-time NCAA champion tied the then official world record in the road 5K at Carlsbad in 13:29. (The record has been lowered to 12:49.) He won easily that day by 25 seconds.
Cheserek made a surge and pulled ahead. “I’ve raced him a lot since college,” said Buchanan, the 2019 Pam American Games silver medalist in the 10,000. “I know he likes to check over his shoulder and if he thinks he has it, he starts to coast. “I was going to try to time it right after he looked to give it another sprint. But he had another gear I couldn’t match. He’s no slouch. I think everyone knows that. I wanted to make him work for it.”
Cheserek said he was moved by the thousands of spectators lining the course. “There were a lot of people shouting out,” he said. “We get more energy from that.” Cheserek did say he held back a bit, wanting to conserve fuel for next Friday’s track 5,000 at The Prefontaine Classic. “I got the win,” he said. “That’s most important.”
Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Olympic 100m and 200m champion, withdrew before what would have been her Diamond League season debut on Saturday after discomfort in training.
Thompson-Herah pulled out of the meet in Birmingham, Great Britain, out of an abundance of caution and plans to return to competition “in short order,” according to her management agency.
She was due to race the 100m against a field including Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, world silver medalist Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain and Americans Gabby Thomas (Olympic 200m bronze medalist) and Cambrea Sturgis, who ranks third in the world this year.
Last year, Thompson-Herah joined Usain Bolt as the only sprinters to sweep the 100m and 200m at multiple Olympics. She ran the second-fastest times in history in the 100m and 200m, trailing only Florence Griffith-Joyner‘s world records from 1988.
Thompson-Herah ran her 100m personal best at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, a 10.54 that is five hundredths off Griffith-Joyner’s record. As a Nike-sponsored athlete, she is expected to race at Pre again next week, if she’s healthy.
Thompson-Herah could get another crack at a fast time on the Eugene track at the world championships in July.
Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir made a statement in 800m men’s race at the finals of the Wanda Diamond League series that were held on Thursday (9) night in Zurich.
Korir proved himself when he cemented his name in the history books of the Diamond league as he lifted his second trophy in style beating the best of the best over the distance.
Korir had been beaten twice by Sudan born now Canadian Marco Arop at the Prefontaine Classic and Lausanne Diamond League but he turned the tables in Zurich when he gave a powerful kick with 60 metres to go to pass Ferguson Rotich who had taken the lead earlier to cross the line in 1:44.56.
Tokyo silver medallist, Rotich superlative performance at the Brussels Diamond League, was forced to settle in second place in a time of 1:44.96.
The 2016 Rio Olympic Games bronze medallist, Clayton Murphy from the United States came home in third place in 1:45.21.
The 2019 Pan American Games gold medallist, Arop crossed the line in fourth in 1:45.23 with the limping Wycliff Kinyamal who had set a meet record a forth night ago at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial finishing last in 1:46.52
The unexpected happened as Canada’s Marco Arop steam was slowed down by Wyclife Kinyamal from Kenya at the Paris Diamond League Meeting that was held on Saturday (28) at the Stade Charlety in Paris.
The 22 years-old has been on fire recently beating the reigning Olympic gold and silver medalists, Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich at the Prefontaine Classic and at Athletissima meeting as he defeated them to claim his second Diamond League title.
The Canadian had to be silenced by Kinyamal as he had punished the two in two occasions and the time was nigh to be put in the frying pan as he was pushed to his limit by the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Wyclife Kinyamal.
With the Tokyo champion missing for this meet, the 2016 East African Junior Athletics Champion had to step in his shoes and salvage Kenya from the Canadian dominance as he lived to it crossing the line in 1:43.94 with the 2019 World Championships bronze medallist taking in silver in 1:44.45. Arop was forced to settle on third in 1:44.74.
Australia’s Peter Bol and Great Britain’s Elliot Giles finished in fourth and fifth place in 1:44.88 and 1:44.92 respectively.
The 2019 Pan American Games gold medallist, Marco Arop was top of his game in the men’s 800m at 9th edition of the Athletissima meeting that was held on Thursday (Aug 26) in Lausanne Switzerland.
The 22 years-old beat the reigning Olympic gold and silver medalists, Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich at the Prefontaine Classic and again today he thrashed them at the Athletissima in Lausanne, he defeated them to claim his second Diamond League title.
The Sudan born now Canadian came to this race with a personal best of 1:43.26 but managed to hold off Korir who has a season best of 1:43.04. He confirmed that the first win wasn’t a fluke by beating the Olympic champion when he crossed the line in 1:44.50 with the Kenyan taking silver in 1:44.62.
Rotich closed the first three podium finishes as he came home in 1:45.48.
Another Kenyan Cornelius Tuwei finished in seventh place in 1:46.53.
United States Athing Mu crushed her own American record by winning the women’s 800 meters at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.
Two weeks after the Tokyo Games ended, a pair of Olympic medalists closed out their historic seasons with American records at Hayward Field.
The 19 year-old in crushed her own American record by winning the women’s 800 1:55.04, improving on the previous time of 1:55.21 which she set while winning the gold medal in Tokyo on August 3.
“I knew this was probably going to be a little tougher because [of] coming off the Olympic Games and running a personal best there. So, I wasn’t looking at time, I just wanted to come here and run with whoever is out there and just be competitive,” said Mu.
Because of her front-running style, the competition wasn’t a factor for Mu in her Diamond League debut.
Upcoming United States of America based Kenyan Michael Saruni will have a litmus test as he tests himself against the seasoned and experienced Botswana’s 800m runner, 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, Nijel Amos at the IAAF Diamond League leg in Monaco on Friday, July 20th.
Amos, the IAAF Diamond League champion and holder of the Prefontaine Classic 800m meeting record had been laid off by a calf injury he sustained at the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Saruni a University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) second year student, made his mark in track and field history when he clocked the NCAA record time of 1:43.25 in 800m at the Desert Heat Classic in Tucson, Arizona, during National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on April 28th.
Coached by the 1988 Seoul Olympics 800m gold medalist Paul Ereng, time breaks the NCAA record previously held by North American U20 indoor record holder Donavan Brazier (Texas A&M) who ran 1:43.55 at the 2016 NCAA Championships.
Saruni’s time ranks as the fastest in the world this year and breaks the school record held by former teammate Emmanuel Korir (1:43.73). depleted the NCAA record previously held by held by former teammate and compatriot Emmanuel Korir (1:43.73) for his season best.
Amos finished second in his comeback race the Prefontaine Classic, which is a non-Diamond event, to gauge his body and strength ahead of the new athletics season after being beaten by Kenya’s US based Korir race after a disappointing Gold Coast’s Commonwealth Games showing.
The 2012 Olympic silver medallist from Botswana with a season best of 1:44.18, last year won his third IAAF Diamond League trophy – the most by anyone in this event.
Amos a resident in the United States with Eugene-based Oregon Track Club Elite said during his absence on the track, he did a lot of work during the winter programme.
Amos, under tutelage of American coach Mark Rowland , pointed out that he would not want to push himself too hard.
Olympic 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera is seeking to bounce back at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting tomorrow after failing to finish in Paris a week ago.
Nyairera has had a mixed season so far at the circuit, finishing sixth at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon, where she posted 1:58.67 in her first outing.
Nyairera hopes to find her form ahead of the Africa Championships slated for Nigeria next month. “The Diamond league races will enable me find the right form ahead of the Africa Championship,” she added.
Nyairera, who bagged silver the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast last April, said the early start to the season has contributed to her struggles on track. “The season started early with the Commonwealth Games but I hope come the Africa even, I will be in peak condition,” she added. World and Commonwealth Games champion Caster Semenya won the two-lap race in Paris in 1:54.25. Former world champion Eunice Sum will also be in contention in the Swiss city after finishing ninth in 1:59.25 in Paris.
The two Kenyans will face off with Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, who was second in Paris behind Semenya in 1:55.86. Others to look out for include Ajee Wilson of the United States, home favourite Selina Buchel, Lynsey Sharp of the United States and Alemu Habitam of Ethiopia.
Davis Kiplangat leads a formidable strong Kenyan contingent in the 5000 metres alongside Collins Cheboi, Vincent Letting, David Bett, Sylvester Kiprotich and Richard Kimunyan in the 12-lap race.
They face stern test from Ethiopia’s World champion Muktar Edris alongside Yomif Kekelecha and world Under-18 champion Selemon Barega in a competitive field that is expected to produce fireworks.
Winny Chebet will lead Kenya’s hunt in the 1,500 metres alongside Nelly Jepkosgei and Emiliy Cherotich. The trio will be up against Hassan Sifan (Netherlands), Meraf Bahta (Sweden), Laura Muir (Great Britain), Dawit Seyaum, Gudaf Tsegay (Ethiopia), Liden Hall (Australia) and Arafi Rababe (Morocco).
Midway through the final lap of the men’s 3000m steeplechase at Saturday’s Prefontaine Classic, the third meeting of the IAAF Diamond League, a common thought rippled through the 12,000-strong crowd at Hayward Field: who?
As in, who exactly was that Kenyan out front, the guy charging into the final bend with a 15-metre lead over world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto?
The race had been expected to boil down to a head-to-head clash between Kipruto and Evan Jager, the darling of the home crowd in Oregon and an athlete with Olympic and World Championships medals to his name.
But at that point, the script had been well and truly shredded by a 24-year-old Kenyan by the name of Benjamin Kigen, the man with the golden kick.
For Jager, Kigen was a recognisable face, one he’d raced and easily beaten in both Monaco and Brussels last year, a guy to be respected but certainly not feared.
“I’ve seen him on the circuit but I wasn’t expecting him to be the guy today, for sure,” admitted Jager. “I thought it was going to be Conseslus and me battling over the last lap.”
Kipruto himself was more wary, particularly given the slow pace and his knowledge of Kigen’s background.
“I know the guy,” said Kipruto, “and I know he can run the last lap very well because he was a 1500m guy.”
Kigen’s last lap – which he ran over five barriers – was covered in 57.9 seconds.
Truth be told, though, Kigen didn’t have as much confidence in himself as others had in him. “I was not expecting it,” he said. “This was my first time beating them.”
Just 13 months ago, Kigen was still a 1500m runner, but all that changed at a low-key meeting in Thika, Kenya, last April when his manager Juan Pineda watched him sprint to victory in 3:42.9. He could be a good 1500m runner, he thought, but didn’t seem to possess the natural power and pace to truly match the world’s best, so they soon plotted a move to the steeplechase.
A native of Baringo County in the Rift Valley, Kigen does not come from an area renowned for producing world-beating distance runners, at least not in the same frequency as places to the west like Eldoret and Iten.
He is a member of the Kenyan Defence Forces and trains in Ngong, a town outside Nairobi that sits at an altitude of 2000m (6,500ft). There, he works under the guidance of coach Isaac Rono alongside Amos Kirui, the world U20 steeplechase champion who has a best of 8:08.37.
Kigen’s transition to the steeplechase was promising, though not paved with success from the outset. He finished second at the Kenyan Defence Forces Championships in his first try at the event in 8:26.6, which secured him a place at the Kenyan World Championship trials last June. But there Kigen miscounted the laps and with 400m to run, he had yet to make any move believing he still had two laps to run. By the time the bell shook him to life, it was too late and he wound up fourth in 8:20.54.
But his ability became obvious just four days later in Ostrava, Kigen taking victory at the Golden Spike in a huge PB of 8:11.54 before lowering his 1500m PB to 3:36.36 in Madrid. He then finished fourth in Monaco and sixth at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels.
He started 2018 with an indoor 3000m PB of 7:44.77 in Ostrava, though last Saturday’s race in Eugene was his first attempt at the steeplechase this year – and what an attempt it was.
ELECTRIC FINISH IN EUGENE
As Kigen soared over the final water jump at full speed – without placing a foot on the barrier – gasps rippled through the crowd at Hayward Field. Though he landed awkwardly at the last, he nonetheless had built an unassailable advantage over Jager and Kipruto, who were left to fight for a distant second, which Kipruto edged in 8:11.71. Kigen had a good 20 metres to spare when he crossed the line in 8:09.07.
“I dreamt of this and I’m very proud of this day,” said Kigen. “This year I have a new training technique so I will do better.”
How much better? His time goal this year is to go below eight minutes, which Kigen may well threaten at the upcoming IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome. Rabat, Budapest and Monaco are also in his plans, and somewhere along the way he will undoubtedly renew his rivalry with Kipruto and Jager.
Far from being upset at his breakout performance, Jager welcomed Kigen’s arrival to the big leagues last Saturday.
“It’s nice to have another face in contention for the win; it would have got boring if it was the same three guys every year,” he said. “Hopefully this puts pressure on everyone else to go after him now and takes the pressure off us. It’s fun there’s another guy to go after.”
And like a true pro, Kigen remains far more concerned with championship performances than fast times. “My main goal is to represent Kenya at the African Championships and race in international races like the Continental Cup,” he said.
And now that he’s a familiar face, Kigen’s rivals will have a new-found respect for his ferocious finish.
Caster Semenya produced another peerless display of middle-distance running to set a meeting record and world lead of 1:55.92 in the women’s 800m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on Saturday (26), the highlight of the midde-distance action at the third meeting of the IAAF Diamond League.
The South African seized command of the race with 300m to run after covering her first lap in 57.9, well behind the pacemaker who went through in 57.25.
American Ajee Wilson finished second in the race in 1:56.86.
Baker, the world indoor bronze medallist, pulled ahead of 60 metres world-record holder and compatriot Coleman in the final 20 metres to win with an assisting wind of 2.4 metres per second.
Coleman finished second in 9.84 seconds with Britain’s Reece Prescod third in 9.88 seconds.
Semenya’s time was the fastest 800m ever run by a woman on US soil, and the 27-year-old was suitably delighted with the run. “It was an amazing race,” she said. “I saw the split was 57 so I tried to maintain 57 again.”