2018 Birmingham DL Diary: Sifan Hassan, Conseslus Kipruto, Agnes Tirop and Emmanuel Korir light up the Birmingham Diamond League

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20180818_134833.jpgA view of the crowd at Alexander Stadium , Birmingham, England, photo by Stuart Weir, August 18, 2018

20180818_134840.jpgAnother view of Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, England, photo by Stuart Weir, August 18, 2018

20180818_134844.jpgA final view of Alexande Stadium, Birmingham, England, photo by Stuart Weir, August 18, 2018

Our friend from Iten, Kenya, Justin Lagat, got up early to watch the Birmingham DL meet and write for RunBlogRun about the fine performances in the distances. Justin Lagat recently covered the African Athletic Championships for RunBlogRun. We are grateful for his insights.

It had been a while since the last IAAF diamond league meeting happened, as athletes had gone out to perform their national duties in other world major competitions that included the African and the European championships. Being the last open meeting before the finals, the Birmingham Diamond League was bound to produce some amazing performances given that most of the athletes had their last chances to garner enough points to enable them reach the finals in Zurich and Brussels on 30th and 31st this month; and it did.

Hassan_SifanQ-WC17.jpgSifan Hassan, photo by PhotoRun.net

Sifan Hassan had stayed almost behind the entire field at the start of the women 1500m race, but gradually began to make her way to the front when she noticed that the pace was a fast one as Gudaf Tsegay kept pushing the pace setter at the front. Hassan, seemingly trusting in her final finishing kick, just stayed behind Tsegay until the last lap when she broke away and the latter could not resist. She won the race in 4:00.60 against Tsegay's 4:01.03. Ennaoui Sofia took third in 4:02.06.

Tirop_Agnes-Lausanne16.jpgAgnes Tirop, photo by PhotoRun.net

Agnes Tirop used the women's 3000m race to showcase her amazing ability to do well in almost any surface and distance ranging from the 1500m track, to the cross country and to the half marathon. Tirop stayed just behind the pace setter from the start before Hellen Obiri took over from her and quickened the pace a little bit. Lilian Kasait added the number to three athletes together in the leading pack just at the bell and while many thought that it was going to be Obiri's day given her usual strong finish, Tirop pulled a surprised winning the race in 8:32.21. Kasait followed in 8:33.43 while Hellen Obiri took third in 8:36.26.

Kipruto_Conseslus1a-Pre18.JPGConseslus Kipruto, photo by PhotoRun.net

Conseslus Kipruto looked calm and composed in the men's 3000m steeplechase race. He could even afford to slow down and encourage his compatriot, Benjamin Kigen to quickly get up after stumbling on the last water jump. Beyo Chala of Ethiopia used the opportunity to run past the two, but Kipruto changed gears after the last barrier and seemed to effortlessly pull away to take the win the race in 8:14.33, followed by Beyo in 8:14.61. Kenya's Nicholas Kiptanui Bett came third in 8:16.44. Kigen, who leads in points, managed to finish fifth after being affected by the stumble.

Korir_Emmanuel1-Pre18.JPGEmmanuel Korir, photo by PhotoRun.net

Emmanuel Korir outsprinted Jonathan Kitilit in a thrilling men's 800m race that saw Korir set a new meeting record of 1:42.79 with Kitilit coming second in 1:43.53. Elijah Manangoi set a new personal best time of 1:44.15 to finish third.

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