World leads for Korir, Manang'oi and Obiri in Monaco

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jul 22, 2017
  • Elijah Manang'oi raced to a world lead in the men' 1500m in Monaco.(Photo:SNA File)

Kenyans Emmanuel Korir, Elijah Manangoi and Hellen Obiri ran world leads at the final IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco before next month’s IAAF World Championships London 2017. 

The men’s 1500m provided drama, if on a slightly lesser scale as Manangoi took over the lead from fellow Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot in the final 50 metres, and then took over his place at the top of this year’s world list with a winning time of 3:28.80.

Cheruiyot, who had led the world list with 3:30.77, was rewarded with a personal best of 3:29.10, with fellow Kenyan Ronald Kwemoi a relatively distant third in 3:32.34.

Olympic 5000m silver medallist  Obiri offered another statement of intent in the 3000m as she drove for home three laps out, eventually winning in the fastest time seen so far this year, 8:23.14.

The quality of the contest was felt all the way through the field as nine women who followed Obiri home set personal bests, with ninth-placed Meraf Bahta setting a Swedish record of 8:37.50.

The second to fifth-placed runners all earned personal bests. Kenya’s steeplechase specialist Beatrice Chepkoech (8:28.66) was third.

Jager shines in Kipruto's absence, Birech second

Worrying times for Kenya’s Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, who had to drop out of last week’s race at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne because of a painful ankle, and who made a late decision here not to start.

In Kipruto’s absence, the man who took silver behind him in Rio, Evan Jager of the United States, earned victory in 8:01.29, the fastest time run this year, with Kenya’s two-time Diamond Trophy winner Jairus Birech second in a season’s best of 8:07.68 and another US runner, Stanley Kebenei, third in a personal best of 8:08.30.

Olympic silver medallist Julius Yego dropped to sixth with his best throw of 79.36 way behind Thomas Rohler's 89.17 winning mark.

London bound Kenyan Emmanuel Korir won the 800m, a non diamond race in a speedy 1:43.10 ahead of Brandon McBride(1:44.41).

Van Niekerk pushed to the line

World and Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk was pushed to the line by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala before earning victory in a meeting record of 43.73.

The 24-year-old South African had said at the previous day’s press conference that he had held a little back in clocking 43.62 at last week’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, where he ran his first 400m since setting the world record of 43.03 in the 2016 Olympic final.

But Botswana’s Makwala – who completed a remarkable in Madrid last Friday in becoming the first man to run a sub-44-second 400m (43.92) and a sub-20-second 200m (19.77) on the same day – gave ample evidence that the challenge for this year’s world title will be fierce.

Van Niekerk, running in lane five with Makwala perfectly in his sights one lane further ahead, had made a big point by passing the Motswana athlete by the halfway point of the backstraight.

But Makwala dug in, and as the two men rounded the final bend the victory was far from certain, with Makwala eventually second in a season’s best of 43.84 ahead of compatriot Baboloki Thebe, who clocked 44.26.

Semenya blasts to 1:55, South African record

Monaco witnessed Olympic and world 800m champion Caster Semenya in new circumstances last night, pushed to the line by not one but two runners in the final straight and responding with time of 1:55.27 – a South African record, an IAAF Diamond League record, a meeting record and, as you might expect, the fastest time run this year.

At one thrilling point at the start of the final straight it seemed as if Francine Niyonsaba, the Burundi athlete who took silver behind Semenya’s gold in Rio, might finally get the better of her.

And as the blue-vested figure of US runner Ajee Wilson moved up on the outside, even more unusual possibilities opened up.

The champion responded as champions should, but her challengers also had their rewards. Niyonsaba punched the air as her time of 1:55.47 – a national record – came up. Wilson also earned a national record, 1:55.61.

Despite making a sluggish start on the Stade Louis II track, the Usain Bolt effect a sporting world has come to know and love duly took place from 30 metres onwards, and with 20 metres remaining the 30-year-old was already closing down and cruising before he crossed the line in 9.95, 0.03 ahead of his closest challenger, Isiah Young of the United States.