Justin Lagat provided this feature on the Kip Keino Classic, which happened today in Nairobi, Kenya, ending the 2021 Continental Tour season globally.
One of the fans had shouted, “This has never happened before in history!” after the epic men’s 100m race. But, while it may be true and obvious that almost everything that is happening right now, or going to happen in the future has never happened before, what Trayvon Bromell and Ferdinand Omanyala did in the men’s 100m race will remain historical.
In a thrilling race that left almost all the spectators in the stadium on their feet, shouting themselves hoarse, Bromell set another world leading time of 9.76 to edge Ferdinand Omanyala by one micro-second. Bromell had a good start, but the gap between the two was rapidly diminishing towards the finish line and the Kenyan crowd was hoping that Omanyala could take the win. But, it was Bromell who ended up with a better position on the world’s fastest 100m runners of all time as he is now tied in 6th place with Christian Coleman. Omanyala is now placed 8th with his new personal best time of 9.77 on the all-time best 100m runners.
In what may now make Kenya the best destination for international sprinters to come and run their personal best times, Fred Kerley of USA also ran a personal best time of 19.76 to win the men’s 200m ahead of Isaac Makwala who ran 20.06 and Filippo Tortu who ran 20.11.
Perhaps the two false starts and a long delay in the women’s 200m may have cost Christine Mboma and Marie Ta Lou a chance to run fast times here, but nonetheless, the competition between the two runners was amazing to watch. Ta Lou had an early lead before Mboma came strongly on the homestretch to win the race in 22.39 against Ta Lou’s 22.98.
It was interesting to watch the newly crowned world under 20 champions beating the senior runners in some of the events. Vincent Keter won the men’s 1500m race in 3:35.99 ahead of Sadiki Abdellatif of Morocco (3:36.63) and Adehena Kasaye of Ethiopia (3:38.18).
Noah Kibet, the world U20 bronze medalist in the men’s 800m event won the senior race today in 1:44.97 ahead of Collins Kipruto who finished second in 1:45.68 and Cornelius Tuwei who was third in 1:45.90. It was a bit surprising to see the silver medalist from Tokyo, Ferguson Rotich finishing way behind the youngster, in fourth place.
Soufiane El Bakalli managed to beat Kenyans at their home in their favorite men’s 3000m steeplechase race after a strong finish in the last 300m of the race after running 8:21.20 to win it. Abraham Kibiwott was second in 8:22.33 ahead of Chala Beyo who finished third in 8:23.37.
Faith Kipyegon ran an easy race to win the women’s 1500m race in 4:02:40. Hirut Meshesha of Ethiopia ran 4:03.01 for second place while her compatriot, Freyweyni Hailu ran 4:04.39 for third place.