OSLO, Norway, June 8- World bronze medallist Milcah Chemos smashed the African women steeplechase record as Olympics champion, Asbel Kiprop coasted to victory in the prestigious Dream Mile at the Bislett Games in Oslo.
During the fifth leg of this season’s Samsung Diamond League, Chemos made it 3 out of 3 in emphatic fashion as she furiously attacked the clock in the last two laps in the face of stern Ethiopian challenge mounted by Sofia Assefa and Hiwot Ayalew.
The winner of the last two diamond trophies in her speciality then put the icing on the most resounding performance on the distance roster on the night when she stopped the clock in 9:07.14.
“Ngai! (God!),” the stadium microphones caught her exclaiming after crowning the fourth fastest performance in the all time list that was an African/Meet record, World Lead and sparkling career best.
Her Oslo blast thus confined Olympics silver winner and compatriot, Eunice Jepkorir’s previous continental and national all time standard of 9:07.41 that was achieved in Beijing to the backburners of history.
Assefa, second to the Commonwealth and African champion at the Pre Fontaine Classic in Eugene, earned another runner-up position in a national record of 9:09.00, with Ayalew third in a personal best of 9:09.61 which, before tonight, would have been the fastest time of 2012 by four seconds.
Kiprop, the World and Olympic 1500m champion, appears the man to beat in this year’s Diamond League after bettering the 2012 world-leading mark of 3:49.40 he set in winning at Eugene last week.
The leggy Kenyan had a crowd at his back as he reached the bell, but 400 metres later he had floated clear, with fellow countryman Caleb Ndiku taking second place in a season’s best of 3:50.00, two hundredths of a second clear of Ethiopia’s Mekonnen Gebremedhin, for whom it was also a season’s best.
Gideon Gathimba was fourth in a personal best of 3:50.24, and a personal best by fellow Kenyan James Magut of 3:50.68 earned sixth place.
Elsewhere, Kenenisa Bekele’s prospects of retaining, or even defending his Olympic 5000m title are looking a little bleak following his relative failure here in what was one of the key trial races for the massively strong Ethiopian team.
Bekele ran a marginal season’s best of 13:00.54, but it was only enough to earn him fifth place, one behind younger brother Tariku, in a race where Ethiopians filled the first five places.
Dejen Gebremeskel’s swift finish earned him victory in 12:58.92 as he held off Hagos Gebrhiwet, who ran a personal best of 12:58.99, with Imane Merga, the defending Diamond Race champion, third in 12:59.77.
Usain Bolt re-stated his 100 metres credentials in Olympic year here as he won his latest Samsung Diamond League event in a meeting record of 9.79 that has been bettered this year only by his own recent mark of 9.76 in Rome.