NAIROBI, September 3 – Olympic 1500 metres silver medalist Asbel Kiprop edged out a classy field that included the Olympic champion and World champion to win 800 metres race at the Lausanne Super Grand Prix on Tuesday night.
The 19 year old timed his late finishing kick to perfection to win in a new personal best time of 1:44.71. World champion Alfred Kirwa was second in 1:44.77 while Uganda’s Abraham Chepkirwok was third in 1:45.00. Olympic champion Wilfred Bungei faded to fourth place in 1:45.31.
In the women’s 800 metres, World champion Janeth Jepkosgei finally registered her first win of the season posting a time of 1:58.15. The 25 year old hit the front with 200 metres to go to win ahead of Yeketerina Kostetskaya of Russia who was second in 1:58.90.
In the men’s 1500 metres, Africa champion Haron Keitany was third in a race won by Kenyan born Bahrain Youssef Saad Kamel. Keitany clocked 3:33.62 while World leader Daniel Kipchirchir Komen was second in 3:33.03.
Olympic 1500 metres gold medallist Nancy Jebet Lagat was a no show in the race won by Maryam Yussuf Jamal who runs for Bahrain. Jamal clocked a new seasonal best of 3:59.86 which made up for her fifth place in Bejing.
In other highlights, Jamaican sprint stars Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Shelly-Ann Fraser took the spotlight in the sprints.
Nine days after the end of the Olympic Games in Beijing where they dominated the sprint scene, Powell improved his position as the second fastest man in history with 9.72 (the second fastest time in history and a new meeting record) to win the men’s 100 metres in his second post-Olympic race after his disappointing fifth place in Bejing.
Powell, Olympic champion with the Jamaican 4x100m relay, threatened Bolt’s 9.69 World record. The Jamaican improved his PB set last year in Rieti by two hundredths of a second when he set the previous World record. “I felt very confident coming here today, I knew I had it in me. I just had to put it on the track. And that’s what I did.”
“I am happy, the track is fast and the crowd were wonderful,” Powell continued. “After all my problems this year, it’s great to set a new personal best.”
In the city which hosts the Olympic Museum triple sprint Olympic champion and World record holder Bolt tied Xavier Carter’s meeting record set two years ago winning a superb 200 metres in his first post-Olympic race over this distance since his incredible 19.30 World record and Olympic title in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest which made the Jamaican the greatest hero of the Olympic Games.
Churandy Martina, who had originally won the Olympic silver behind Bolt but was later disqualified due to a lane violation, finished a distant runner-up in 20.24 ahead of America Wallace Spearmon, third in 20.54.
“I ran a good time,” said Bolt. “I didn’t run at my maximum at the end of my races because the season is finishing. It’s more important for me to win the races than to run a good time at the end of the season.”