Justin Lagat has been busy this summer for @runblogrun. He covered each Diamond League meet’s distance events, plus the Tokyo Olympic Olympics, U20 World Athletics Champs, and the Kenyan Olympic Trials. After Zurich, Justin will be covering the KIp Keino Classic next weekend.
We hope that you enjoy his columns. We sure do!
The qualification points ensured that only the world’s best performers toed the start lines of the diamond league final events in Zurich. As it promised to be, it was a great evening.
The highly anticipated clash between Sifan Hassan and Faith Kipyegon in the women’s 1500m final did not disappoint. In a show of great talent and experience, Kipyegon took to the front with one lap to go and took advantage of the inside lane to hold off Hassan and show who the best women’s 1500m runner currently is!
With Stewart Mcsweyn to make sure that it was a fast pace and Timothy Cheruiyot and Ingebrigtsen trying to show who the best 1500m runner is between them, there was a great mix of runners for a great race in the men’s 1500m final! Cheruiyot who had handed his bracelet to Ingebrigtsen at the Olympic Games after the latter had beaten him successfully answered back with a win here. Perhaps the cameras may have missed it, or he didn’t do it, but Ingebrigtsen ought to have handed something to Cheruiyot here in return.
Norah Jeruto who could not feature at the Olympic Games managed to end her year well with the diamond league trophy in the women’s 3000m steeplechase race. There was still a pack of seven runners at the bell. Then Hyvin Kiyeng and Jeruto began to open a gap at the front. At the last water jump, Jeruto gained some lead after Kiyeng almost stumbled. She quickly accelerated to win the race in 9:07.33. Kiyeng followed in 9:08.55 edging Courtney Frerichs by 19 microseconds.
Benjamin Kigen ran a well-calculated race in the men’s 3000m steeplechase in which he waited until the last 200m to produce a surprise kick. By the time his competitors were fighting to close the gap, he was already too far ahead as he went ahead to cross the finish line at 8:17.45. Soufiane El Bakkali came second in 8:17.70 ahead of Abraham Kibiwot in 8:18.16.
Emmanuel Korir, like Faith Kipyegon was able to add a Diamond League trophy to his Tokyo Olympic title in the men’s 800m final after overtaking the usual strong finisher, Ferguson Rotich, in the last 100m to win the race in 1:44.56. Rotich was second in 1:44.96 and Clayton Murphy was third in 1:45.21.
Keely Hodgkinson finished the women’s 800m race strongly to overtake Goule Natoya in the home stretch before winning the trophy in 1:57.98. Grace Kate also caught up with Natoya at the finish line to register the same time of 1:58.34 taking the second place as she was coming from behind.