Justin Lagat caught the excitement of the distance races in his comments on the Oslo Diamond League (July 1, 2021). We thank him for his thoughtful obseverations and also Matthew Quine, media manager at Diamond League on his photos and results.
The pacesetter, Van Buskirk took the women’s 5000m runners through the first km in 2:55 which was precise as she ran parallel to the wave lights.
At 2000m, Obiri suddenly increased the pace and overtook the pacer. A pack of seven soon remained at the front with Margaret Chelimo and Beatrice Chebet just behind Obiri.
The wave lights kept occasionally catching up on them as Obiri would at times slow a bit before pushing the pace again.
With less than 3 laps to go, Chelimo took to the front and a slight gap began to form between the trio of Fantu Worku, Obiri, and Chelimo; and the rest. At the bell, Eilish McColgan gradually closed the gap on the trio, but then Obiri unearthed a long finishing kick before McColgan could begin to feel comfortable in their company. It suddenly turned into a duel between Obiri and Worku at the front as Chelimo fought off McColgan for third place.
Obiri edged Worku in the last 50 meters to cross the finish in a seasonal best time of 14:26.38. Worku came second in personal best of 14:26.80.
The pattern of a seasonal best being followed by a personal best repeated itself for third and fourth finishes as Chelimo ran a seasonal best time of 14:28.24 followed by McColgan in a personal best and national record time of 14:28.55.
All the top eight runners in the men’s 3000m race registered their personal best times! The race started out quite conservatively as the runners left the pacesetter, Vincent Kibet to run a few meters ahead of them. The first lap of 61.33 seconds would be the slowest in the race, it was the same case with the first km split of 2:32.
When Yomif Kejelcha took to the front after the pacer had dropped out, he began to obliterate the field with 58-second laps that saw only one runner, Jacob Kiprop remaining behind him, but for a while. After two 58 second laps, Kejelcha capped it with a 56.35 lap to finish the race in a world-leading time, Diamond League record, meeting record, and the personal best time of 7:26.25. Krop followed in 7:30.07 and Nicholas Kimeli took third in 7:31.33.
Stewart McSweyn stunned the fans in the men’s dream mile race after a spectacular front run that resulted in him running a new Australian record and a world-leading time of 3:48.37.
Grace Kate of the US finished strongly in a new personal best time of 1:57.60 to win the women’s 800m race.