BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, Aug 19 – African 800m silver medalist Emmanuel Korir continued with his impressive season, going for another sub 1:43 performance on his way to winning the race at the Birmingham leg of the IAAF Diamond League on Saturday.
Korir who has put out an ambitious target of running sub 1:40 in the next two years showed no signs of slowing down as he picked up his fourth Diamond League victory having won in Doha, Eugene and London where he set his new Personal best of 1:42.05.
Bram Som led the field through halfway in 50.2, before Kenyan champion Jonathan Kitalit tried to stretch away from Korir – only for his compatriot to power past 70m out to win in 1:42.80, not quite as stunning as his 1:42.05 in London, but a meet record nonetheless.
Kitilit was runner up in 1:43.53 while world, Commonwealth and African 1500m champion Elijah Manangoi placed third in a PB of 1:44.15.
Meanwhile, with his great Moroccan rival Soufiane El Bakkali scratching before the start, Conselsus Kipruto lined up clear favourite for the 3000m steeplechase.
The reigning world, Olympic and African champion duly delivered the victory – despite offering a consoling hand after fellow Kenyan Benjamin Kigen stumbled at the final water-jump and allowing Ethiopia’s Chala Beyo to temporarily pass him in the home straight.
Securing his spot in the Diamond League final, Kipruto prevailed in 8:14.33, with Beyo second in 8:14.61 and Kigen regaining his composure to cross the line fifth in 8:17.43.
The men’s long jump produced an equally impressive winner, South Africa’s world and Commonwealth champion Luvo Manyuonga prevailing with a meeting record leap of 8.53m.
The Kenyan athletes in Birmingham duly dedicated their victories to fallen colleague Nicholas Bett who passed on after a car crush two weeks ago.
They posed with a Kenyan flag with the writings ‘RIP Nick, #47.79″
-Additional info courtesy IAAF