Athletics Athletics

Chemos, Konsecha reign in rainy Shanghai


NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19-World Youth record holder Leonard Kosencha and World bronze medalist, Milcah Chemos produced dazzling performances on Saturday in the 800m and 3000m steeplechase as Ethiopians also dominated at the rain soaked Shanghai Diamond League meet in China.

Chemos, the Commonwealth titleholder blasted to a meet record and world leading 9:15.81 ahead of her Ethiopian rival Sofia Assefa who returned 9:16.83 while Lydia Chepkurui was third in a personal best of 9:22.66.

The Daegu bronze winner took charge of the race early with Assefa, the Africa silver medallist maintaining close attention behind her but she managed to shake her off on the home stretch for the victory.

Commonwealth silver winner, Mercy Njoroge (9:26.50) and Lydia Rotich, the fifth finisher at last year’s Worlds (9:35.34) closed the leading five in a race where Kenyans took half of the top ten places with All Africa Games winner, Hyvin Kiyeng coming sixth in a lifetime best of 9:38.80.

Kosencha, 17, who was running in his first ever Diamond League race took the 800m in 1:46.05 ahead of compatriot Timothy Kitum who clocked 1:46.20 with Russian Andres coming in third in1:46.74.

The winner who was beaten by his Lille bridesmaid and World Indoor champion, Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia at the Colorful Daegu Meeting 48 hours earlier, eased away from the crowded pack that also included Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop and 2007 Worlds gold medallist Alfred Kirwa Yego at the final stretch to outsprint Kitum to the finish.

Kiprop (1:47.97) was seventh a slot behind Kirwa Yego (1:47.18) as the other Kenyan in the two-lap showdown, World junior champion, David Mutinda (1:48.65) trailed in ninth.

Daegu 10000m fifth finisher, Thomas Longosiwa lacked the answer to the furious finishing pace of Ethiopia’s sensation Hagos Gebrhiwet who stormed to a world leading meet record of 13:11.00 as the Kenyan trailed the leader home in 13:11.73.

Behind them, a smattering of gifted distance runners led by double Olympics champion, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia who once again failed to spark on his return from injury, were reduced to filling the minor positions.

John Kipkoech with a personal best of 13:12.66 led the challengers home in third as Vincent Kiprop (13:13.23), Kenenisa (13:13.89), his compatriot Yenew Alamirew (13:46.23) and Augustine Choge (13:15.50) who galloped to the world lead over 3000m in Doha last week finished in that order to complete the top six..

World Indoor women 1500m champion Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba claimed a sparkling meet record of 3:57.77 that took her to the top of the 2012 charts in the highlight display of the distance racing programme in Shanghai.

Countrywoman Abeba Aregawi ran her personal best in 3:59.23 to take second as Moroccan Ibtissam Lakhouad came third (4:01.69) beating World 3000m indoor champion Hellen Obiri (4:03.15) who finished fourth.