, BERLIN, June 2 – Kenya’s Augustine Choge ran the fastest 1500 metres in the world this year to claim victory at the Golden League meeting here on Sunday with August’s Beijing Olympics just over two months away.
With Kenyan athletes taking the first three places, Choge, the Commonwealth Games champion, ran three minutes 31.57 seconds with twice indoor world silver medallist Daniel Komen in second and compatriot Shedrack Korir in third.
"I ran a personnal best today, but I really expected to run sub 3:30 minutes here," said Choge.
"I still haven’t decided whether to run the 1500 or 5000 metres in Beijing."
In the men’s 110 metres hurdles, United States sprinter David Oliver won in a time of 13.19 seconds from Cuba’s Dayron Robles.
"I was a lucky winner and I wasn’t thinking I could win, but it bodes well for the season," said Oliver.
Former world champion Bershawn Jackson of the United States won the men’s 400 metres hurdles in a time of 48.73 seconds, while 2000 Olympic champion Angelo Taylor finished back in sixth place with a season’s best 50.06.
"After the long flight I did not begin too hard, I controlled the race and the main goal was to win," said Jackson.
"I had a bad year in 2007 and didn’t make the world champs finals, I am hoping this year will be better."
Former 800 metres Olympic champion Nils Schumann has virtually given up hope of competing at August’s Beijing Olympic Games after failing to make the qualifying standard here at Sunday’s Golden League meeting.
The Sydney 2000 champion ran 1 minute 47.78 seconds to finish ninth in his 800 metres heat – two seconds short of the 800 metres qualifying mark for Beijing.
"I wanted to run here the qualifying time of 1:45.50, now I don’t really believe I can reach Beijing," said Schumann, 30, who has battled back to fitness after three achilles tendon operations.
Earlier, Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi threw a new Asian record to win the men’s discus with a throw of 69.12 metres and the 23-year-old Iranian is now focused on claiming gold at Beijing’s Olympics in August.
In the women’s 200 metres Jamaica’s Sherone Simpson ran her season’s best of 22.43 seconds with the crowd’s help to hold off Russia’s Yuliya Gushchina and compatriot Kerron Stewart.
"Running a season’s best has given me confidence ahead of the Olympics," said Simpson.
"I have already raced in Berlin and I know how crazy the crowd can be, I wanted to hear them screaming and they helped me win."
Spain’s Josephine Onyia ran a new national record of 12.50 seconds in the women’s 100 metres hurdles to hold off Sweden’s Susanna Kallur and Lolo Jones from the United States.
"To run a personal best and a Spanish record at this fast track is something special, I need to build on this for Beijing," she said.