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ATHLETICS: Cheruiyot sets meet record in IAAF Diamond League

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo and IAAF | July 7th 2019 | 2 min read
Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot runs to victory in the men's 1500 metres during the IAAF Diamond League athletics 'Herculis' meeting at The Stade Louis II Stadium in Monaco on July 20, 2018. [AFP]

World 1,500m silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot set a world-leading time at Athletissima meeting, the eighth stop of IAAF Diamond League series in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday night.

Cheruiyot, who eyes a third consecutive Diamond League Trophy posted an impressive 3:28.77 mark ahead of Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway who clocked 3:30.82.

Djiboutian Ayanleh Souleiman (3:30.79) and Filip Ingebrigtsen (3:30.82) came third and fourth as Uganda’s Ronald Musagala returned fifth in national record of 3:31.33.

Commonwealth Games 800m reigning champion Wycliffe Kinyamal led Kenyan 1-2-3 sweep in the two-lap race.

Kinyamal, 22, chalked up his first Diamond League win of the year in a season-best time of 1:43.78. Ferguson Rotich, the 2017 Diamond league trophy winner, came second in 1:43.93 while USA-based Emmanuel Korir finished third in 1:44.01.

In 800m non-diamond league event, Nelly Jepkosgei recorded her second win of the season after Rabat, Morocco, last month. Jepkosgei won in 1:59.55 ahead of Ugandan Halimah (1:59.97) while Gabriela Gajanova of Slovakia came third in 2:01.25.

Once again, Kenyans posted dismal performance in men’s 5000m with Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Paul Tanui, the highest ranked Kenyan in seventh in 13:06.10

Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrhiwet put in an impressive final sprint to cross the line well clear of his rivals but he had misjudged his laps and still had one lap to go.

Yomif Kejelcha, another Ethiopian, won in 13:00.56. He ran continued past Gebrhiwet who realised he hadn’t finished the race thus, re-joining the chasing pack. Ethiopians Selemon Barega (13:01.99) and Telahun Hail Bekele (13:03.09) came second and third as Gebrhiwet faded to 10th in 13:09.59.

World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce seemed to have reclaimed her groove as she won 100m in Lausanne.

The Jamaican got off to her usual strong start as European champion Dina Asher-Smith and African champion Marie-Josee Ta Lou trailed.

She stopped the clock at 10.74, bringing her tally of sub-10.8 performances to a record-tying 13. Asher-Smith finished second in a season’s best of 10.91 with Ta Lou taking third in 10.93. In fourth, two-time world champion Dafne Schippers clocked a season’s best of 11.04.

In women’s 400m, Salwa Eid Naser of Bahraini broke one of the oldest Athletissima meeting records.

Marie-Jose Perec’s meeting record of 49.45 had stood since 1996 – two years before Naser was born – and had withstood challenges from the likes of Cathy Freeman, Sanya Richards-Ross and Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

Naser chopped 0.28 off Perec’s record, but it didn’t come easy. The Bahraini sprinter led through halfway in 23.9 and was comfortably ahead with 100m to go, reaching 300m in 36.1. But Niger’s Aminatou Seyni moved up and started to eat into Naser’s advantage.

Seyni almost caught Naser, but the world silver medallist held on, winning in 49.17 to Seyni’s 49.19, breaking her national record by more than a second.

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