BIRMINGHAM, England, June 30 – Steeplechase queen Milcah Chemos was the only Kenyan to post victory as Britain’s Mo Farah proved he was still the man to beat heading into the World Championships with a 5,000m win over a high-class field at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting in central England on Sunday.
Chemos recorded her second Diamond League victory on the bounce and third win in a row three days after taking the honours at the Ostrava Golden Spike when she out-sprinted Ethiopia’s duo, Sofia Assefa (9:17.97) and Hiwot Ayalew (9:18.83) with training partner and freshly minted national champion, Lydia Chepkurui (9:23.00) finishing just outside the podium in fourth.
Beijing Olympics women 1500m champion, Nancy Jebet Langat slow climb back to the top continued when she played bridesmaid to Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi in the event with the clocks returning 4:03.70 against 4:04.53 in a performance bound to boost the confidence of the double Commonwealth titleholder as she continues her comeback from serious knee injury that hampered her since winning two gold medals at the Delhi 2010 Club Games.
Home favourite Farah, who won gold medals in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at last year’s London Olympics, saw off the Ethiopian duo of Yenew Alamirew and Hagos Gebrhiwet — the world’s two fastest men over the shorter distance — in a last lap sprint that saw him win in a time of 13 minutes 14.71 seconds.
It was an encouraging display by Farah ahead of the World Championships in Moscow in August and afterwards the 30-year-old told the BBC: “The young guys wanted to beat me, I’m the guy to beat.
“I had to dig deep. The pace was slow and the conditions weren’t great – it was very windy. Ultimately you’ve got to get the job done and to win the race.
“(The other runners) were working as a team. But you’ve got hold your form and make sure you’ve got something else left.
“It’s all about the World Championships. I’m just going to keep training hard,” Farah added.