This is Justin Lagat’s column on the Stockholm DL and the performances by Kenyan athletes in the Bauhaus Galan meeting.
As usual, Timothy Cheruiyot was in a class of his own at the Stockholm Diamond League meeting where he easily won the men’s 1500m race. Cheruiyot hung behind the two pacesetters from the beginning of the race, then slowed down a bit and allowed the rest of the field to slowly catch up with him after the pacesetters dropped out. But, it would appear as though that was just to tease his fellow competitors and fans into thinking that he was beginning to lose his strength. With about 150m to go, Cheruiyot began to ease away to win the race comfortably at 3:32.30. Fontes Ignacio followed for second place in a personal best time of 3:33.27 ahead of Ronald Kwemoi who finished 3rd in 3:33.53.
Cheruiyot finished 4th at the Kenyan Olympic Trials last month and there has been pressure from some Kenyan fans for the national federation to consider having him in the national team to Tokyo.
In the women’s 3000m steeplechase race, Hyvin Kiyeng’s experience came into play when she allowed Beatrice Chepkoech to break away at a fast pace at the initial stages of the race. She caught up with her after the pacesetter had stepped out and gradually began to open up a gap as the latter struggled. Kiyeng won the race in a new meeting record of 9:04.34. All the three Kenyans who made the Olympic team in this event were present, and Germany’s Gesa Krause managed to get in between after overtaking Chepkoech in the last 50m. Purity Kirui, the other Kenyan in the Olympic team finished fourth behind Chepkoech.
Almanza Rose showed that she will be the woman to watch in the women’s 800m after a fabulous run to win the race in a new meeting record and a personal best time of 1:56.28. She beat Natoyo Goule to second place and Kate Grace, who had won the race in Oslo, to third place.
Ferguson Rotich in his trademark run, came from behind to finish strongly in 1:43.84 and win the men’s 800m race, edging out Marco Arop who had opened up a good gap in the last lap just before the finish line. Elliot Gilles took third in 1:44:05, just five micro-seconds behind Arop.