EUGENE, United States, May 27 – Mo Farah laid down a marker to his rivals with a superb 5,000m victory in the Prefontaine Classic, beating World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor who finished third.
Farah, the four-time Olympic champion who is embarking on his final season of track racing, clocked the fastest time of the year after romping home in 13min 00.70sec at Eugene’s Hayward Field in Oregon.
The 34-year-old British distance running king, who completed a ‘double-double’ of 5,000m and 10,000m gold at last year’s Olympics, said he had been determined to send a message to his challengers as he builds towards his farewell at the World Championships in August.
“For me it wasn’t about time. It was just a matter of telling the boys ‘Look, I’m ready’,” Farah said.
“A lot of the boys talk a lot. I just want my running to do the talking and get on with it.”
His rival Kamworor who beat him to the World Half Marathon title could only manage to come third in a time of 13:01.35 while Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha sandwiched himself at second in a time of 13:01.21.
In the Bowerman’s mile, Diamond League leader Elijah Manang’oi suffered an upset when he came in second behind Ronald Kwemoi.
Kwemoi clocked 3:49.04, while Manang’oi came in a close second in 3:49.08. Timothy Cheruiyot was third while Vincent Kibet completed a top four Kenyan sweep.
Three-time Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop had a disappointing start to the season, finishing bottom of the pile at 13th in a slow time of 3:58.24.
Elsewhere, Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon easily won her race, beating compatriot Hellen Obiri in the non-Diamond League race.
Kipyegon crossed the line in a time of 3:59.67 while Obiri was second in 4:00.46. Britain’s Laura Muir was third.
– Bowie blitzes 200 foes –
Arguably the most surprising result of the day came in the women’s 200m which had been billed as one of the strongest fields ever assembled.
America’s Tori Bowie, a bronze medallist over the distance at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio, blasted to victory in the quickest time of the year in 21.77sec.
Bowie led from start to finish to come home ahead of Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas in second with 21.91. Olympic champion Elaine Thompson was third with 21.98 while Dutch star Dafne Schippers was fourth in 22.30. Allyson Felix, the 2012 200m Olympic champion, was fifth in 22.33.
Elsewhere Saturday, Jamaica’s 110m hurdles star Omar McLeod signalled once again he will be the man to beat at the World Championships after storming home in 13.01sec.
McLeod, the Olympic champion, crossed ahead of compatriot Ronald Levy, who was second in 13.10 and Devon Allen of the United States who was third with 13.11.
“I was feeling good, my race wasn’t as sharp but I was glad I was able to get a clean run,” McLeod said.
“I’m always consistent, I’m not as sharp as I wanted to be but preparation for this year was different. I didn’t have a peak at indoors, so I think I’m going to peak at the right time which is really good.”
In the men’s 100m, American Ronnie Baker posted a brisk but wind-assisted 9.86sec to pip China’s Su Bingtian for victory. Su finished second in 9.92sec. Britain’s Chijindu Ujah was third in 9.95 while Canada’s Andre De Grasse was fourth with 9.96.
The women’s 800m meanwhile saw a virtual repeat of the 2016 Olympic final, with all three Rio medallists occupying the top three positions.
South Africa’s Olympic champion Caster Semenya won in 1:57.78, ahead of Kenya’s Margaret Wambui in 1:57.88. Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi was third with 1:59.10.