NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7- Olympics 1500m champion, Asbel Kiprop, played his favourite role to perfection with an easy victory in the men 800m at the opening Samsung Diamond League meet in Doha Friday night.
In the absence of world record holder, David Rudisha and Sudanese twice World Indoor gold medallist Abubaker Kaki, Kiprop who won the Diamond Trophy in his speciality last season, did not need to break sweat as his lanky legs carried him to victory in 1:44.71.
Britain’s Michael Rimmer came in second in 1:45.12 to relegate Olympics silver medalist and 2007 World champion, Alfred Kirwa to third in 1:45.17. Commonwealth silver winner, Richard Kiplagat finished just outside the podium with 1:45.48 on the timer.
Diamond Trophy champion, Milcah Chemos returned a 9:16.44 world lead in the women’s 3000m steeplechase for victory to kick-start her defence in emphatic fashion.
Chemos, who won the Africa and Commonwealth titles last season, led a Kenyan podium shut-out that saw her bridesmaid in Delhi Mercy Njoroge (9:16.94) and Lydia Rotich (9:19.20) arrive in that order to share the rostrum with the winner.
World indoor 1500m leader, Nixon Chepseba transferred his fine fettle to the outdoor circuit with a 3:31.84 effort to deny Commonwealth titleholder and the fastest man over the distance last season, Silas Kiplagat (3:32.15) victory.
Chepseba’s winning mark was a world lead over the distance in the meet where eight other victors posted year bests.
Ethiopia’s Mekonnen Gebremedhin (3:32.28) took third with World junior champion, Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku racing 3:33.05 for fourth ahead of 2008 Africa gold medallist, Haron Keitany (3:33.39) who marked his return from a season long lay-off with fifth.
Ethiopia’s youngster, Yenew Alamirew turned on the afterburners in the final 200m to lead four Kenyans across the line in the men’s 3000m.
Olympics silver winner and 2003 world champion, Eliud Kipchoge (7:27.26) led his compatriots, Africa 5000m titleholder, Edwin Soi (7:27.55) and 2006 Commonwealth 5000m victor, Augustine Choge (7:28.76) in occupying the next three positions.
In the women’s metric mile, Ukraine’s Anna Mishchenko topped the 2006 World junior champion, Irene Jelagat with 4:03.00 against 4:04.89 reading on the clock. Africa Cross Country silver medallist, Viola Kibiwott who is also a former World Junior gold winner at the distance, finished fourth in 4:05.54.