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Koech & Lagat hit jackpot

ZURICH, August 20 – Kenya's Paul Kipsiele Koech ensured his diamond trophy despite finishing more than three seconds behind compatriot Ezekiel Kemboi on Thursday.

 Koech’s most dangerous rival, Olympic champion Brimin Kiprop Kipruto, only managed seventh.

"I was aware that if Kipruto was not around a second place would be enough to win the Diamond," admitted Koech.

Koech’s compatriot Nancy Lagat had a straightforward victory in 4:01.01 in the women’s 1500m, an event which she has dominated all season.

American sprint star Allyson Felix cruised to victory in the 400m at the penultimate meet in the IAAF’s Diamond League in Zurich on Thursday to ensure she bagged a brace of trophies.

Having already wrapped up the 200m, in which she is a three-time world champion, Felix timed 50.37 seconds, a gutsy final 30m seeing her past closest rivals Debbie Dunn and African champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana.

"The whole Diamond League season was amazing, pretty cool," said Felix. "But I must admit I had to work hard in the last 100m for that win.

"I still feel like a 200 and 400m runner and it will stay like that for 2011."

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Felix’s triumph was the highlight of a great night for a further six US athletes who scooped Diamond Trophies and 40,000 dollars apiece for dominating their events.

On the track, Wallace Spearmon and Jeremy Wariner won the men’s 200 and 400m, David Oliver the 110m hurdles and Carmelita Jeter the women’s 100m.

There was further success for the United States in the field, Dwight Phillips and Brittney Reese winning the men and women’s long jump events respectively.

Spearmon ran a blistering 19.79sec to claim the 200m title, while Oliver dipped under 13sec for the fourth time this season in the hurdles, clocking 12.93sec despite falling over the line.

"This race was really good," said Spearmon. "I felt technically that I am running well. I’m the first to win the 200m Diamond Trophy so it is very special."

Wariner was in imperious form over the one lap, cruising to a world lead of 44.13sec with a fantastic kick down the homestretch to get past Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzalez.

Jeter was already assured of finishing atop the standings in the women’s 100m, but had to be content with second place behind Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown in a photo-finish at 10.89sec.

The men’s 5000m crown was claimed by Ethiopian Imane Merga, who finished second behind compatriot Tariku Bekele (12:55.03).


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