Tag Archives: Prefontaine Classic

Emmanuel Korir makes the statement in Zurich

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

Wyclife Kinyamal silences Marco Arop in Paris Meet

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.

LEADING RESULTS
800m MEN

  1. Wyclife Kinyamal    (KEN) 1:43.94
  2. Ferguson Rotich       (KEN) 1:44.45
  3. Marco Arop               (CAN) 1:44.74
  4. Peter Bol                    (AUS) 1:44.88
  5. Elliot Giles                (GBR) 1:44.92

Marco Arop beats Emmanuel Korir in Lausanne meet

Athing Mu crushes 800m race American Record

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.

Athing Mu crushes 800m race American Record at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. PHOTO: Mathew Quine/ Diamond League

Because of her front-running style, the competition wasn’t a factor for Mu in her Diamond League debut.

Saruni Eyes Diamond League Trophy Champ Nijel Amos Scalp in Monaco

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.

Nyairera out to make amends as she battles Semenya and Niyosaba in Lausanne

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).

Newcomer Kigen Shakes Up Steeplechase Status Quo

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.”

Benjamin Kigen (centre), the eventual winner of the steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene.Photo:Getty Images

LATE ARRIVAL

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.”

Benjamin Kigen wins the steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene. Photo: Getty Images

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.

 

Semenya sets world lead in 800m Prefontaine Classic

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.”

Kipruto to face Jager in Eugene Diamond League

Conseslus Kipruto and Evan Jager will return to the Prefontaine Classic on 25-26 May to renew their steeplechase rivalry at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene.

The field includes six of the top seven finishers from last year’s World Championships and every IAAF Diamond Trophy winner since its 2010 inception.

World, Olympic and Commonwealth champion Kipruto has won medals at every international championship he has contested, dating back to the 2011 World U18 Championships. The three-time Diamond Trophy winner was only 18 when he won his first Pre Classic race in 2013.

Olympic silver medallist Jager has been North America’s best steeplechaser since first taking up the event in 2012. The world bronze medallist recorded the fastest time in the world last year with 8:01.29, his fastest time since setting his third North American record of 8:00.45 in 2015.

After just missing an Olympic medal in Rio, Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali finished in between Kipruto and Jager at last year’s World Championships to take the silver medal. The 22-year-old won at the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Stockholm and Rabat last year before setting a PB of 8:04.83 at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels.

Jairus Birech won the first of his two Diamond League trophies as a 21-year-old in 2014. Now 25, the Kenyan has twice broken the eight-minute barrier and is the field’s second fastest at 7:58.41.

Paul Kipsiele Koech is history’s third-fastest ever at 7:54.31 and no one has cracked the eight-minute barrier more times than his nine such clockings. After a season of focusing on the marathon, the 36-year-old is returning to the steeplechase, the event in which he won the Diamond League’s first three trophies.

Four Kenyans in the field will be making their US debut: Commonwealth silver medallist Abraham Kibiwott, world U20 champion Amos Kirui, Benjamin Kigen and Nicholas Bett.

Stanley Kebenei finished fifth at the World Championships last year. Earlier that season, he recorded a PB of 8:08.30 to move to second on the US all-time list. US compatriot Hillary Bor missed out on last year’s World Championships final, but finished seventh at the 2016 Olympics.

Others in the field include USA’s Andy Bayer, Canadian record-holder Matt Hughes, and Ethiopian teenagers Tesfaye Deriba and Getnet Wale.

Organisers for the IAAF

2018 IAAF Diamond League calendar
4 May – Doha, QAT
12 May – Shanghai, CHN
26 May – Eugene, USA
31 May – Rome, ITA
7 Jun – Oslo, NOR
10 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
30 Jun – Paris, FRA
5 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
13 Jul – Rabat, MAR
20 Jul – Monaco, MON
21-22 Jul – London, GBR
18 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
30 Aug – Zurich, SUI
31 Aug – Brussels, BEL

Tanui faces Edris Muktar at Prefontaine Classic

Olympic 10,000 silver medalist Paul Tanui faces a stern test in the two mile race at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on May 26.
Tanui, who is also the world 10,000m bronze medallist faces a quality field in the event including compatriot Ronald Kwemoi, world 5000m champion Muktar Edris of Ethiopia. Kwemoi won the Bowerman Mile last year while Edris ended Mo Farah’s reign last summer at the World Championships.
The Ethiopian beat Farah, always a fast finisher, at his own game with a ferocious 52.4 last lap. For Edris, the gold was his first track major medal of any color – his only other medal being the bronze he earned at the 2015 World Cross Country Championships in China.
Meanwhile, his Ethiopian teammate, Yomif Kejelcha, raced to a second successive world indoor 3000m title in Birmingham last month. Kejelcha, 20, has twice raced to unprecedented feats at Hayward Field. In 2014, he became the youngest ever 5000m winner at the World Junior Championships, in Eugene. In 2015 he made his biggest splash, winning the Pre-Classic and becoming the youngest 5000m winner by four years. A fantastic season saw him winning the Diamond League as well with a 12:53.98 PB. He’s also the fastest in the field at 3000m with 7:28.19, the current world U20 record.
The youth fountain from Ethiopia continues with 18-year-old Selemon Barega, who became the youngest indoor 3000m medallist with his silver medal finish behind Kejelcha in Birmingham. He won the world U20 5000m title in 2016.
The field also includes Paul Chelimo, the only racer in the field with medals from Rio and last summer’s World Championships. Both –Rio silver and London bronze ­— came with thrilling finishes and are among the best ever by a US athlete.
Newly-crowned double Commonwealth Games champion Joshua Cheptegei is also in the mix. He was second over 10,000m at last year’s World Championships and the world junior champion over the distance in 2014. Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed is also in the field, the double silver Commonwealth medallist after finishing runner-up behind Cheptegei in both track races in Gold Coast.
Others in the field include Bahrain’s Albert Rop, who has a 12:51.96 5000m lifetime best, Ryan Hill, the 2016 world indoor 3000m silver medallist, who has a 7:30.93 personal best over that distance, Eric Jenkins, 26, who won indoor NCAA titles for Oregon over 3000m and 5000m, Hassan Mead, the US 10,000m champion, Shadrack Kipchirchir, the US road 5km champion; and Australian Patrick Tiernan, the 2016 NCAA cross country champion.
The 2-mile distance comes in a year with no major international championship 5000m races outside of the annual IAAF Diamond League, which incorporates the two mile and 3000m into its point standings for the 5000m. The-Pre Classic two mile record of 8:03.50, set in 2007 by Australian Craig Mottram, remains the fastest run on US soil.