Jelimo outsprinted: The 2008 Olympics champion finishes sixth in Moscow meet

By —IAAF: Tuesday, February 4th 2014 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football


Pamela Jelimo in a past race. [PHOTO:FILE]

Pamela Jelimo’s maiden run in nine months raised more questions than answers on if at all the World Indoor 800m champion will be ready for her title defence in Sopot, Poland, in March.

The 2008 Olympic Games champion trailed in sixth out of eight runners in the ‘A’ race over four laps of the track, finishing in a poor 2:11.29 during the Russian Winter indoor meeting in Moscow, the second of this year’s IAAF Indoor Permit meetings, on Sunday.

This left critics with question marks on whether there is enough time for her to regain her best form before the defence of her title in Sopot.

At the other end of the race, in close finish, Belarus’s Marina Arzamasova managed to come from behind in the final metres and overtake Ukraine’s Natalya Lupu, the winner clocking 2:01.31 while Lupu was just 0.02 in arrears.

But that was not all as Kenya’s Silas Kiplagat managed to speed up towards the finish line and steal the 1500m victory from his compatriot Bethwell Birgen.

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Packed finish

Kiplagat clocked 3:35.85, which is the 2014 world-lead and only 0.66 shy of the meeting record set in 1996 by Venuste Nyoigabo from Burundi.

In a packed finish with less than a second separating the first four men home, Birgen was second with 3:36.10. Kenya’s Collins Cheboi and Ethiopia’s Aman Wote were third and fourth with times of 3:36.41 and 3:36.45 respectively.

For the second year running, the Moscow crowd arrived at the CSKA Arena hoping for a 600m world best and again they were denied.

Dominant force

However, Ethiopia’s reigning 800m World champion Mohammed Aman missed Nico Motchebon’s mark by only 0.19 as he clocked an African best of 1:15.31, and recorded the third best mark of all-time. Poland’s Adam Kszczot finished second in 1:15.75.

In the highly anticipated men’s high jump, Ivan Ukhov again proved he is the dominant force this winter.

Nobody else could get over the bar when it was raised to 2.31m, and then he easily cleared 2.36m before making three very close attempts at a meeting record height of 2.40m, one centimetre higher than his own standard of 2.39m from 2007.

On Saturday in Germany, the IAAF Indoor IHM Karlsruhe meeting was seen as something very special. One world indoor record and three more new world leads were registered.

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia clocked an impressive World Indoor 1500m record with 3:55.17 in a big solo. The previous mark of Russian Yelena Soboleva was 3:58.28 from 2006. Slovenian Sonja Roman recorded 1:02.39 and 2:08.96 at 400m and 800m and from then Dibaba ran alone and had 3:10.47 1200 split clearly ahead Soboleva’s mark (3:13.1).

It was first world record for the younger sister of multiple Olympics winner Tirunesh Dibaba. Next race for Genzebe is Stockholm 3,000m on Thursday. Second Angelika Cichocka of Poland was way back in 4:08.15.