Original Post on June 8, 2018
Repost December 31, 2018
Justin Lagat covers the ups and downs of athletics in Kenya on a weekly basis. We are fortunate to see, through Justin’s eyes, the complexities of the sport in Kenya.
Justin Lagat sent us this column from Kenya. Justin provides us a weekly column we call The View from Kenya. We hope that you like it. This was his highlights from the Bislett Oslo Games.
Elijah Manangoi, Hyvin Kiyeng, Caster Semenya and Chris O’hare won thrilling distance races at the Oslo Bislett Games:
Under the red evening sunshine in Oslo, the final track event at the Bislett Games developed into one thrilling sprint in the last 400m. The pace setter had been left alone at the early stages of the men’s dream mile race and the athletes kept together in a relatively large group with no one willing to take the race on as everyone seemed to be believing in their finishing kicks. But, Managoi was strategically placed on the inside lane at the front seeming to be the one controlling the pace.
At the bell, it was still any man’s race as all the athletes started to jostle for vantage positions. At the back stretch, the energy that had been saved in the first laps was evident as runners engaged in a fierce battle in what looked like a full sprint. The problem with a 1500m race developing into such a finish is that many athletes are boxed in and some physical contacts are made. At the last bend, Bethwel Birgen’s shoe met with someone elses and he almost fell down, Filip Ingebrigtsen appeared to be boxed in as he kept looking for a space to overtake two athletes ahead of him. Having secured a good position at the bell, Manangoi’s work was to keep holding on to the lane at the front and he was able to do that to win the race in 4:56.95. Sadik Mikhou finished second in 4:57.10 followed by Tolosa Tefera for third place in 4:57.92.
Hyvin Kiyeng stayed just behind Emma Coburn in the women’s 3000m steeplechase race up to the last lap when she moved to the front and slowly started building a gap that kept increasing as Coburn seemed to have run out of energy to answer back. From the pre-race press conference, Coburn had said she was going for a fast time and perhaps that had gave Kiyeng an idea on how to beat her; by turning her into a pace setter. Kiyeng crossed the finish line in 9:09.63 while Coburn followed in 9:09.70 with Daisy Jepkemei coming in a distant third in 9:16.87.
Caster Semenya, as usual, appeared to be in a class of her own as she won the women’s 800m race in 1:57.25. Francine Niyonsaba was second in 1:58.57 closely edging Habitam Alemu who finished third in 1:58.58.
In a non-diamond league point earning men’s 1500 which was none the less a great race, Chris O’hare won it in 3:35.96. Robby Andrews took second place in 3:36.05 slightly ahead of Jacob Ingebrigtsen who finished in 3:36.06.