LONDON, August 14 – Paul Koech took over the leadership of the Samsung Diamond League standings thanks to a tactically astute front-running performance on Friday night.
Koech ran the legs off the opposition after hitting the front with just over three laps to go. He stopped the clock in 8:17.70 to take his third victory of the series.
World champion Ezekiel Kemboi had to settle for second in 8:19.95, with the former Diamond League leader Brimin Kipruto rounding out a Kenyan clean sweep of the points positions in third (8:20.77).
Former US champion Steve Slattery took up the early pace, but from the moment Koech moved purposefully to the front the race was set to be a predictably all-East African affair.
The Kenyan trio quickly opened up a gap on the rest, and such was the fearsome injection of pace by Koech, the former Olympic bronze medallist, that Kipruto badly stumbled and lost significant ground on the leader at the penultimate water barrier.
Koech held a three metre lead from Kemboi at the bell, but down the back straight it was Kipruto who recovered from his water mishap and loomed on the leader’s shoulder.
Sensing the danger, Koech quickened the pace and simply destroyed the opposition over the last 200m to cruise to victory.
Kipruto struggled in the final stages and Kemboi finished the stronger of the pair to take second. Linus Chumba of Kenyan, the Diamond League winner in Gateshead, was fourth in 8:30.59.
Olympic champion Nancy Lagat had too much speed over Russia’s Anna Alminova who leads the world standings this year with 3min 57.65sec.
Lagat pulled away to finish five metres clear in 4:07.60, with Alminova recording 4:08.82 at the end of a race which got faster and faster after a relatively cautious start.
Britain’s Lisa Dobriskey finished strongly in the tactical race to take third place with a time of 4:09.07, finishing clear of the American pair of Erin Donohue and Shannon Rowbury and providing the England selectors with a clear indication that she is in the form to retain her Commonwealth title in October.