Athletics Athletics

Kiplagat ends Kiprop dream, Rudisha loses


KIPLAGAT-MONACONAIROBI, July 19- Silas Kiplagat produced the shock of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco as he out sprinted domestic arch-rival, the Beijing Olympics and two-time world champion compatriot Asbel Kiprop, who was chasing the world record, with a blistering 3:27.64 world leading personal best on Friday night.

The other major upsets were the humbling of Olympics champion and record holder, David Rudisha and world champion, Eunice Sum in the men and women 800m races as the latter suffered a first defeat since her Moscow conquest.

Kiplagat buries Kiprop record dream

On the night, Kiplagat’s thrilling performance made him the fourth fastest man in history that was also a Diamond League record, trimming 0.08 off the time Kiprop set in winning here last year.

For the two-time world champion, who finished in a season’s best of 3:28.45, it was a huge anti-climax after he had prepared for an attempt on Hicham El Guerrouj’s 16-year-old world record of 3:26.00 by setting the fastest 800m time of the year, 1:43.34, at the Diamond League meeting in Paris earlier this month.

“At 1200m I knew the race was too slow,” Kiprop told the IAAF website. “We went through in 2.47 and I had asked for 2.45. In the home straight, I could see the others behind me on the big screen and I knew they would get back on me. I could see Silas coming closer and closer. It was a tough race.”

As for Kiplagat, he is now thinking in terms of mounting a world record attempt himself.

“I have the fast time now, but why not be faster and attack the world record?” the Commonwealth champion who will not defend in Glasgow stated with a hint of his customary cockiness.

“I’m still young and ready to train for it. I always run well here, so I’m thinking my win and result is no surprise. I was aware I can do it.”

Japan based teenage national champion, Ronald Kwemoi, lost his first ever race in 1500m after finishing third but he stood out with pride as the new world junior record holder with his 3:28.81 career best performance.

Rudisha fails to respond

It was the second outstanding middle distance race of the evening following the non-Diamond League race over 800m which saw another stunner as Rudisha faded to fifth in a race won by Botswana’s Nijel Amos in a 2014 world-leading time of 1:42.45, with Pierre-Ambroise Bosse setting a French record of 1:42.53 in second place.

As he had hoped, Rudisha, returning from a year off injured, managed a 1.42 clocking here, but the London 2012 had to concede the honours in a stupendously competitive race to the man who followed him home at the Olympics where he ran the 1:40.91 world record for gold.

As he rounded the final bend in the lead it looked as if Rudisha, who had equalled the 2014 world lead with victory in 1:43.34 at the previous Diamond League meeting at Glasgow a week ago, was all set to secure another morale-boosting win.

But, as he entered the final straight, the smaller figure of Amos moved out to pass him in lane two, teeth bared with the effort.

In the final 20m the roars redoubled as Bosse moved through, closing on the Botswana athlete, but running out of room.

As Rudisha faded, two others moved past him in the final 10 metres: Ethiopia’s 2013 world champion Mohammed Aman, who clocked a season’s best of 1:42.83 and Ferguson Rotich Cheruiyot, who finished fourth in a personal best of 1:42.84.

Sum vanquished at last

Despite also enjoying a season best return of 1:57.92, world champion Eunice Sum saw the back of another runner for the first time over 800m in 14 races, stretching back to August 18 last year when she won the world crown in Moscow in a career best 1:57.38.

American Ajee Wilson, who has created a buzz this season, ran a world leading 1:57.67 world lead and career best to finally vanquish the new queen of two-lap running.

The US champion came in with only two defeats at the distance this season in Rome (third) and Oslo (second) where she fell to Sum but it was third time lucky for her.

Jairus Birech, the new kid on the steeplechase block, made it five victories in five outings with the clock stopping at 8:03.33 after motoring alone at the front for long spells as Worlds silver winner, Conseslus Kipruto (8:09.91) came home for second long after the winner had caught his breath.

Former World Youth champion, Hillary Yego, completed the podium in 8:10.23 as former Olympics champion, Brimin Kipruto (tenth), Olympics bronze winner, Abel Mutai (11th) and circuit specialist, Paul Kipsiele Koech (seventh) finished further down the order.

Former World junior champion, Viola Kibiwott (14:33.63/SB) kept up with the Ethiopian pair, favourite Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana in the women 5000m before being forced to accept third as she failed to fashion a response when the pair took off for the honours with 300m to go.

Genzebe, who has not replicated the form in the winter that saw her set three world indoor records plus bagging gold at the global closed circuit showpiece in Sopot, dug deep to overtake her compatriot for victory in a world leading personal best 14:28.88 against 14:29.19 in the last few metres.

The returning Olympics silver medallist in 10000m, Sally Kipyego, placed just outside the podium in 14:37.18 after missing a huge chunk of the season injured.

Worlds silver winner, Mercy Cherono (14:44.56) failed to reproduce the form that brought convincing wins in New York and Lausanne as she returned home seventh.

-Material and photo from used in this report