Wanyonyi, Chebet shine at Xiamen Diamond League

Kenya's Beatrice Chebet on her way to winning 3000m race at the Xiamen Diamond League. [World Athletics]

Youngster Emmanuel Wanyonyi on Saturday upset World Champion Marco Arop of Canada in a sweet revenge served hot at the Xiamen Diamond League in China.

Wanyonyi, 19, may have played second fiddle to Arop in the recently concluded Budapest World Championships (August 19 to 27) but the youngster defeated the reigning World Champion in a show of might at the Xiamen showdown.

Arop breathed down his neck in the closing stages but Wanyonyi pulled a breathtaking kick that relegated Arop to second place in the contest staged in China.

Wanyonyi clocked a world lead time of 1:43.20 in the dramatic 800m race.

The Kenyan 800m sensation appeared to surrender his lead to Arop in the closing stages before fighting back on the home straight to edge past him metres to the finish line. Arop ran 1:43.24 in the close contest.

Double Commonwealth champion Wyclife Kinyamal finished fourth in 1:44.04 behind Benjamin Rober of France.

Wanyonyi, who has been in good shape this season now eyes the finals in Eugene, USA from September 16 to 17 and will be hoping for a Diamond league trophy under his belt.

Fresh from winning a 5000m world bronze at the World Championships, World Cross Country Beatrice Chebet stamped authority in the women’s 3ooom race in Xiamen.

She ran 8:24.05 to finish first ahead of second-placed, Mexico’s Laura Galvan who set her country’s national record at 8:28.05 in the third-last Diamond League leg this season.

“Can’t contain my excitement. My new personal best and a world lead over 3000m,” Chebet said after the Xiamen win.

Kenyans Margaret Akidon, Caroline Nyaga and Selah Busienei finished third, fifth, and eighth places respectively, each writing their 3000m personal bests

Aynadis Mebratu of Ethiopia placed fourth in 8:29.88 – also her personal best.

Before the finals in Eugene, track and field stars will assemble in Brussels for the second-last leg of the Diamond League Meeting on Friday, September 8.

Nelly Chepchirchir, who finished seventh at the Budapest World Championships made a comeback in Xiamen yesterday.

Chepchirchir lost the top spot to Ethiopia’s Freweyni Hailu and defeated Australia’s Linden Hall, who finished third.

Known for her long strides, Chepchirch made the Kenyan team to Budapest. At the global show, she won her heat and her semi-final in the 1500m, and at the final, she ran a 3:57.90 personal best. She lowered her personal best in Xiamen yesterday with her 3:56.72 winning time.

Hailu and Hall crossed the finish line in 3:56.56 and 3:57.92 respectively.

The Diamond League series was returning to China for the first time in four years. The action was staged at the new Egret Stadium in Xiamen.

Former World Under-20 3000m steeplechase champion Amos Serem made a return to the big stage with a third-place finish in a race won by World Champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco.

World bronze medallist Abraham Kibiwott finished fourth.

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