The 10,000m in Stockholm was tremendous. It added to the history of great distance running on cool Scandanavian nights. It was those kind of races, lead by the late Ron Clarke, that built the summer Scandanavian meets in the 1960s and early 1970s. Ironic that races like 10,000m has to be outside of the Diamond League culture. It is okay. Just keep having events like this, as Justin Lagat reminds us.
The most talked about race after the 2019 Stockholm Diamond League Meeting
It would appear as though when a race is cut off from the TV audience, it will be the most sought and downloaded video on the internet the following day given what just happened at the IAAF track and field meeting in Stockholm this week (the 30th of May 2019).
The men’s spectacular 10,000m race that was won by Rhonex Kipruto in a rare sub 27 minute time of 26:50.16 became one of the most talked about races from the Stockholm Diamond League meeting on the internet and on social media the following day. I had to go to the You Tube to re-watch the race for myself.
With a huge pack crossing the first kilometer in a 2:44/km pace, the race was already captivating from its early stage. It was bound to get crowded anyway, given that all the 27 entrants in it had some impressive records in their running. No one was going to be easily dropped off by such a decent pace.
Peter Kiprotich stretched the field a little bit with a couple of 65-second laps into the second kilometer of the race before Hagos Gebrhiwet took to the front pushing the pace further by a 63 seconds lap followed by 62 seconds and was soon left alone at the front with Rhonex Kipruto.
The 2:37/km pace with 62 – 63-second laps were not enough to shake off Kipruto from Gebrhiwet’s back and the latter would soon gesture to Kipruto to take over the pacing duties. Kipruto willingly took to the front just after the 4,000m mark and that was the last time that anyone else ever stepped in front of him.
The two front runners crossed the 5,000m point in 13:28. With the absence of pacesetters and the windy conditions, this was an amazing time, even for a 5,000m race. It was fast.
Amazingly, even with the fact that they were using the outside lane to overlap the other runners the pace was kept constant with Gebrhiwet hanging on apparently in the hope that he will remain with some strength to unleash a finishing kick in the end.
With about two laps to go, Kipruto increased the pace a little and Gebrhiwet had no more energy to answer back. Kipruto went ahead to win the race in 26:50.16 ahead of Gebrhiwet in 27:01.02 as Aron Kifle came in a distant 27:27.68 to finish 3rd.