NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22 – World silver medallist Elijah Manangoi surprised the field to win the men’s 1500m, out-sprinting Timothy Cheruiyot to win in a season’s fastest of 3:28.80 at the Monaco IAAF Diamond League on Friday night.
Triple 1500m world champion Asbel Kiprop finished more than 6 seconds off the pace in 11th position.
In the men’s 3000m steeplechase, Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto was a late withdrawal, however, saying he did not want to risk anything before London.
“It is a precautionary measure with my ankle,” the Kenyan said. “Running is going well but jumping is risky at this point. But no worries for the world championships, I will be there.”
In the 3000m, on-form Hellen Obiri set a season’s leading time of 8:23.14 as a startling eight of the top 11 racers set personal bests on the fast Monaco track.
Kenyan Emmanuel Korir, on his professional debut, set another season’s leading best in the men’s 800m, scorching around in temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius (79F) in 1:43.10.
In the corresponding women’s 800m race, Caster Semenya put in another fine performance timing a personal, meet and Diamond League record of 1:55.27 in a race where four national records were set.
Semenya, the current Olympic champion and a two-time world gold medallist, turned the screws in the final 50m to beat out Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba by 0.20sec, with American Ajee Wilson rounding out the podium.
“I showed my strength, it was a hard fight until the end,” said Semenya, whose world golds came in Berlin in 2009 and Daegu in 2011. “The girls surprised me how good they ran.
“I think I can run really fast, we are training for that. Now we must decide, maybe tonight, what I’ll do in London, if it’s only the 800m, or also the 400m or 1500m.
“The main thing is to stay healthy and a top result will come.”