World 5,000m silver medalist Jacob Krop gave Kenyans a night to remember at the Memorial Van Damme, the second last meeting of the Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium, on Friday night.
It was, however, a bad night for Olympic and world 800m champion Emmanuel Korir, who bowed to Britain’s world 1500m champion Jake Wightman, in 800m. Korir finished third.
Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase champion Jackline Chepkoech improved her World Under-20 second place on the global list as she won the water and barriers race in an impressive 9:02.43.
Commonwealth Games 800m champion Mary Moraa clocked in 50.67 in 400m for fourth place but that was still enough for a new national record.
A sizeable number of Kenyans attained the recently upgraded qualifying standards for the 19th World Athletics Championships that run in Budapest, Hungary, on August 19-27 next year. A lot is expected at the 2020 Diamond League finale in Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday and Thursday.
Those who hit the World Championships qualifying times at Brussels meet include Krop, Olympic 800m champion Korir, Commonwealth Games 5000m silver medalist Nicholas Kimeli, world 800m bronze medalist Moraa (400m), Daniel Ebenyo (5000m) and Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase champion Jackline Chepkoech.
But it remains to be seen if the athletes would be cautious enough and ensure to adhere to the mandatory doping tests ahead of the World Championships.
The men’s 5000m, one of several highly competitive events in the Belgian capital, resulted in Krop chopping more than a second off his Personal Best to win in 12:45.71, elevating him to sixth on the world all-time list.
Pacemakers led the field through the first 1000m in 2:33.68 and maintained that tempo through to the second kilometre, reached in 5:07.15. Yomif Kejelcha led from Krop through 3000m in 7:41.74 with most of the field running in single file behind.
Krop moved into the lead 300m later, maintaining the metronomic pace as the field began to whittle away behind him. USA’s Grant Fisher was the only athlete capable of sticking with Krop on the final two laps, but Krop pulled away from him with ease on the home straight, kicking ahead to win in 12:45.71, making him the second-fastest Kenyan in history.