NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – Olympic Champion Conseslus Kipruto brought his splendid season to an end with a Diamond League trophy to scoop the cash prize of Sh4 million as curtain in the 2016 season came down in Brussels on Friday.
Kipruto, who was chasing the world record after already winning the trophy thanks to his perfect score in the past five legs, also won Sh1 million for clinching the Brussels meet after crossing the line in 8:03.74 ahead of Olympic silver medalists Evan Jager from USA.
The 21-year-old in-form Kenyan, who looked disappointed at the end of the race after failing to hit his target of smashing the world record 7:53.63 held by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saeed Shaheen, finished the season with a massive 70 points.
Belgium’s 2009 European junior cross-country champion Jeroen D’Hoedt took the field through 1000m in 2:39.54, just over two seconds outside the prescribed world record schedule.
Kipruto then took off, when he realised that the second pacemaker Paul Kipsiele Koech, who was having the last track race of his long and illustrious career, was not able to help out.
However, he could not shake off the man who followed him home in Rio: USA’s Evan Jager.
The 2000m mark was hit in 5:21.72, still well on course for a time within eight minutes taking into account the increase in speed over the last lap, but then the pace eased as Kipruto readied himself for what was likely to be an astonishingly fast last 150 metres off the last water jump.
Out of the water for the last time, and with one barrier to go, Jager had no answer to the speed of a man who has reputedly run under 48 seconds for a 400m in training, and Kipruto crossed the line in 8:03.74 with Jager running a season’s best of 8:04.01.
Asbel Kiprop’s plans to put his sixth-place finish in Rio behind him faltered as he was trumped by Kenyan team-mate Timothy Cheruiyot in a fast finish but the three-time world champion won the Diamond League trophy in the men’s 1500m.
Kiprop finished third in 3:31.87 behind winner Cheruiyot who clocked 3:31.34 ahead of second placed Moroccan Abdelaati Iguider (3:31.40).
Ferguson Rotich also clinched the men’s 800m Diamond League trophy despite finishing fourth in 1:44.59 in a race where Adam Kszczot from Poland upset the bigwigs to take victory after returning 1:44.36 ahead of world junior champion Kipyegon Bett (1:44.44).
Almaz Ayana the reigning 5000m world champion who obliterated the world record when winning gold in the 10,000m in Rio, clocked a meeting record of 14:18.89, the eighth-fastest time ever run over the distance.
She paid the price for a slow opening couple of laps and despite breaking out on her own with 2km to run, the Ethiopian left herself too much to do on the final lap, missing out on the record by 7sec.
Olympic silver medalist Hellen Obiri of Kenya settled for second in her Personal Best of 14:25.78 while Ethiopian Senbere Teferi came third in 14:29.82.