Athletics Athletics

Rudisha powers to victory in Paris


NAIROBI, Kenya, July 6- World 800m record holder David Rudisha continued with his impressive form ahead of the London Olympics by setting a world leading time at the Paris leg of the Samsung Diamond League on Friday.

Rudisha fresh from qualifying in the national trials in Nairobi completed the two lap race in 1:41.54 setting a new meet record in yet another dominant performance by the lanky athlete.

Reunited with his pacemaker Sammy Tangui, Rudisha put on a masterclass to win a 30 metres gap as he dipped under the 1:42 mark yet again.

Antonio Reina of Spain was second in 1:45.62 with former world champion at the distance, Alfred KirwaYego following closely in third in 1:45.68.Richard Kiplagat was a distant sixth in 1:46.26.

Athens Olympics bronze medalist Paul Kipsiele Koech was outstanding as he led a Kenyan 1-2-3 sweep in the 3,000m steeplechase where he set a new meet record of 8:00.57.

Reigning Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto was second in 8:01.73 with Abel Mutai finishing third in 8:03.15. Jairus Birech closely followed in fourth in 8:03.43.

It was a different scenario in the corresponding women race after Tunisian Habiba Ghribi powered to a new meet record of 9:21.81 in a fast race with Lidya Chepkurui coming in second in 9:29.02 followed by Ethiopian Sofia Assefa who crossed the line in 9:29.57.

Purity Kirui was however disqualified for missing the water jump.

The 5,000m race lived up to expectations for many with Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel, a bronze medallist in Daegu last year, winning the race in a new personal best time of 12:46.81.

His compatriot Hagos Gebrhiwet beat the junior world record in 12:47.53 with the only consolation for Kenya coming from Isaiah Kiplangat who completed the race in a personal best of 12:48.64 to take third.

It was a disappointing race for Kenyans who had dominated the race from the start only for the two top Ethiopians to begin to pull away after the bell. Thomas Longosiwa was fifth in a personal best of 12:49.04 closely followed by Paul Kipkoech in 12:49.50

However they will find consolation in the fact that Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia who holds the meet record could only manage ninth place in a seasonal best of 12:55.79.

Here’s a Capital video recap of Rudisha where the world record holder talked of his plans for London and breaking his own standard shot when he qualified for the finals on June 21.