PARIS, July 6- World champion, Asbel Kiprop, tuned up for an assault on the men 1500m world record in Monaco on July 18 in the best possible fashion when he blasted to a 1:43.34 victory over 800m at the Paris leg of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League.
The two-time titleholder produced a stunning drive over the last half lap of the 800m, hitting the front coming into the final bend before holding off all challengers to cross the line in unchallenged.
It was the perfect preparation for a possible tilt at the 1500m world record of 3:26.00 held by his retired Moroccan idol, Hicham El Guerrouj, in a season where the 24 year-old sacrificed his place in the national team for the Commonwealth Games to pursue his dream.
Last season, he blasted to his 3:27.72 career best at the same Monaco track on July 19, a performance that gave the lanky athlete who failed to hold on to his Olympics crown hampered by hamstring injury the belief he could go for the all time best at the distance.
“Because we do not have major championships this year, it is also my target to run under my personal best and do a high 3:26. I don’t think I will consider the Commonwealth Games since they are so close to the World Cup.
“I want to give young runners a chance to go to Scotland and feel how it is to win a medal for their country for motivation,” the athlete who ran his previous 3:28.88 personal best in Monaco in 2012 told Capital Sport in March.
“This season, I have prepared for the season without injury and I feel in good shape. It’s only maintaining and training harder to achieve my goals this year,” the Daegu and Moscow Worlds champion added at the time.
Kiprop has already tasted world record success this season, anchoring the national 4x1500m team to gold with an all time best of 14:22.22 on May 25.
Pushing Kiprop all the way home was Botswana’s Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos, who had to settle for second in 1:43.70.
Cuba’s Yeimar Lopez was the fastest man down the home straight, coming from a long way back with 100m to go, but left his run for the line too late and was third in 1:43.71.
At the same Paris meeting, Beijing Olympics bronze winner, veteran Edwin Soi, produced the first sub 13:00 victory over 5000m this season.
American London Olympics 10,000m silver winner, Galen Rupp took the lead with 500 metres to go, but the US champion over 25-laps never managed to put any daylight between himself and his African opponents.
Going down the back straight for the final time, Soi, his compatriot Paul Tanui and Ethiopia’s Yenew Alamirew surged past him.
In the battle for the victory over the next 200 metres, Soi finally edged in front halfway down the home straight before crossing the line in 12:59.82.
Alamirew, who stays in front of the Diamond Race with 12 points, came home second in a season’s best of 13:00.21 while Tanui was third in a personal best of 13:00.53. Rupp never threw in the towel despite not being able to match his rivals for sheer speed and came home fourth in 13:00.99.
World bronze medallist, Hellen Obiri, suffered her first loss outdoors this year when she was forced to third in the thrilling women 1500m showdown.
Dutch runner, Sifan Hassan uncorked a shocking world leading 3:57.00 that is a national record as her bridesmaid and US champion, Jenny Simpson, just failed o shatter her country’s all time best in 3:57.22, a career best.
Obiri led the challengers’ across the line in 3:58.89 ahead of the world champion indoors and out, Abeba Aregawi, of Sweden.