2020 Doha Diamond League: Two outstanding men's middle distance races


The men's 800m and men's 1,500m were two of the best of the night. Stuart Weir explores these two events in his third piece on the Doha Diamond League.

Two outstanding men's middle distance races

There were two outstanding men's middle distance races at the Doha Diamond League. The men's 800m race was won by Kenya's Ferguson Rotich in 1:44.16. Elliot Giles 9GB) ran the race of his life for a PR in 1:44.56 and for a time looked as if he might catch Rotich. Another Kenyan, Wycliffe Kintanal was third from Peter Bol and Bryce Hoppel.

One big question was what could 1500m specialist Timothy Cheruiyot - and reigning world champion -do at the shorter distance. He was eighth in 1:46.78, never really in the race

Rotich commented: "I am happy to win tonight and end the season on a high note. The pandemic has affected the season but everyone had to adapt. I wasn't under any pressure tonight because I usually run against the time and I don't consider who I am competing against. I will be racing in Nairobi to round up the year. I hope to end the year on a strong note".

The 1500 was less competitive with Stewart McSweyn winning by 2 seconds from Selemon Barega (Ethiopia).

The main excitement was in whether or not McSweyn could beat the Australian record of 3:31.06, held by Ryan Gregson who was also in the race. McSweyn was the only one to go with the pacemakers but was still left with a long run for home on his own. He made it in 3:30.51. He commented afterwards: "I wasn't in the best of shape coming into this race but to win tonight is something I am very delighted about. I just wanted to race again considering how this season has been. I executed my plan quite well and I maintained the pace". Amazingly he now holds the national record at 1500 and 10,000m.

Despite the clear winning margin the top five and two others ran PRs.

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