Rudisha: It is back to drawing board after losing in Lausanne

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jul 10, 2021
  • Amos Nijel edges pasr David Rudisha in the men's 800m race.(Photo:DL)

  • Virginia Nyambura on her way to winning the 3000m Steeplechase.

For most of the 800m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday, it looked as though Olympic champion and world record-holder David Rudisha was going to follow up his victory in New York exactly according to plan.

The tall, powerful Kenyan had taken his familiar place at the front once the pacemaker had dropped away on the second lap and he entered the straight having distanced himself from all his opposition – save for the determined little figure of the man who followed him home to take silver at the London 2012 Olympics, Nijel Amos.

The Botswanan athlete, gritting his teeth with the effort, moved up to Rudisha halfway down the straight, and as he did so an anxious glance back from the champion whose past two years have been blighted by a succession of injuries was the giveaway sign that the race would go to Amos.

His winning time was a season’s best of 1:43.27, with Rudisha clocking 1:43.76 and third place going to his fellow Kenyan Ferguson Rotich Cheruiyot, who recorded 1:44.44.

The pace proved too hot for Ethiopia’s world indoor and outdoor champion Mohammed Aman, who was eighth in 1:46.03. Since their first clash at the 2012 Olympics, which Rudisha won, Amos has now won their five other encounters to date.

“The race didn’t go as I planned but I am happy with it” said Rudisha. “Now I have to get back to the drawing board and work on my last 100m.”

Nyambura chalks up third diamond league win

Emma Coburn of the United States led for most of the second half of the 3000m steeplechase, but as the bell went she found two African opponents moving past her, with Kenya’s Virginia Nyambura leading the way ahead of Ethiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew.

The Kenyan maintained her form to the line, which she crossed in a meeting record of 9:16.99, with Ayalew finishing in 9:17.22 and Coburn settling for third in 9:20.67.

This was her third victory in the series after her surprise win in Doha where she entered as a pacer and Birmingham.She solidified her status among the women's steelechase elite with a fine run in Rome where she also ran her personal best of 9:15.75, just losing to compatriot Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi at the finish line.

Ndiku stumbles as Farah wins 5000m

In recent years, Mo Farah has greeted a succession of victories with expressions of relief and joy at the line. At the Stade De La Pontaise stadium he greeted his 5000m victory with something approaching rage, punching his fist fiercely into the air after rousing the crowd with urgent upward motions of his arms once it was clear he had finally seen off the challenge of Ethiopia’s prodigiously talented 17-year-old, Yomif Kejelcha.

Farah was returning to competition for the first time since pulling out of last month’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham and flying back to his Oregon training base, citing mental and physical exhaustion. But he showed no signs of tiredness in Lausanne.

Farah waited patiently before moving into the lead at the bell, but the taller figure of Kejelcha loomed behind him as Kenyan Commonwealth Games champion Caleb Ndiku who was chasing the lead pack stumbled hard on the track and 

And halfway down the back straight the young Ethiopian – whose winning time of 12:58.39 at the Rome IAAF Diamond League meeting leads this year’s world lists – made his own move, passing the world and Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion and opening up a two-metre lead which he held as they entered the final straight. It looked over.

But Farah produced another electric burst to regain the lead before producing a final flourish which appeared to have dissipated an awful lot of angst and frustration. Helped by a 54.4-second final lap, Farah won in 13:11.77 as Kejelcha was second in 13:12.59.

“It was my first time in Lausanne and I really enjoyed starting my season properly here,” said Farah. “I wanted to race everybody and today offered this opportunity. I had a great finish. Overall I’m happy with the way the race went today.”

After speaking briefly with the stadium MC, Farah signed off to the crowd with “Merci” and a trademark mobot gesture. He looked quite like his old self.