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Obiri beaten as Hassan breaks meeting record in Birmingham

Hellen Obiri strides to win the Rome Diamond League and set a national 5,000m record on June 8, 2017. PHOTO/IAAF

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – Fresh from winning the women’s 5000m world title at the London IAAF World Championships, Hellen Obiri failed to carry on the superb form at the IAAF Birmingham Diamond League where she finished fourth in the 3000m.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won the race in a National and Meeting record of 8:28.90 to make amends against Obiri who condemned her to bronze at the London IAAF World Championships a week ago at the Olympic Stadium.

Obiri followed the pacemaker during the early stages and then found herself at the front of a sizeable pack, passing 2000 metres in 5:41.83.

But as the race approached the closing stages, the Kenyan appeared to be running on tired legs –understandable for someone who is approaching the end of a year in which she has had busy cross-country, indoor and outdoor campaigns.

Obiri tried to kick with 200 metres left, but her pursuers were poised behind her. Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen had worked her way through the field and moved on to Obiri’s shoulder, but it was world indoor 1500m champion Hassan who had the best finish, kicking on to win in a Dutch record.

Klosterhalfen finished second in 8:29.89, becoming the seventh member of an exclusive club of women to have run faster than two minutes for 800m, four minutes for 1500m, 8:30 for 3000m and 15 minutes for 5000m.

“It has been three years since I last ran a 3000m (outdoors) so I enjoyed the opportunity to run the distance here,” said Hassan, the world 5000m bronze medallist. “It went out fast but then I felt a bit tired, so winning surprised me. I had to work hard but that is a great result coming off the back of a World Championships.”

Obiri eventually finished fourth in 8:30.21, 0.10 behind compatriot Margaret Chelimo. Britain’s Eilish McColgan set a PB of 8:31.00 in fifth, while world steeplechase champion Emma Coburn was 11th in a PB of 8:48.60.

-Women’s 1500m-

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Winny Chebet was Kenya’s best performer after finishing second in the women’s1500m behind Ethiopia’s Seyum Dawit.

Dawit hadn’t raced since the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai back in May, missing the World Championships in the process. With a convincing victory in Birmingham, the world indoor silver medallist showed she could have been a factor in London.

She, along with the rest of the field, trailed compatriot Gudaf Tsegay for the first three laps. Tsegay, the only athlete to go with the pacemaker, had her 15-metre lead reduced on the last lap and was eventually caught by Seyaum with 200 metres to go.

Seyaum went on to win in 4:01.36 with Chebet coming through for second place in 4:02.24. Tsegay wound up fourth in 4:03.00 while world silver medallist Jenny Simpson was seventh in 4:03.71.

-Kiprop beaten again-

In the men’s 800m, Asbel Kiprop finished seventh in the 800m men’s race to continue his woes after failing to defend his 1500m title at London World Championships.

Botswana’s Nijel Amos made amends for his fifth-place finish in London, winning the 800m in 1:44.50. The 2012 Olympic silver medallist finished comfortably ahead of world silver medallist Adam Kszczot and his compatriot 1:45.33, the fast-finishing Poles clocking 1:45.28 and 1:45.33 respectively.

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