Rotich shines in Stockholm DL

The sixth IAAF Diamond League series registered a low turn out of Kenyan athletes with only a few competing at Stockhom, Sweden due to limited Diamond League races in middle and long distances.

The few Kenyan runners headlined the sixth series with Diamond League trophy winner Ferguson Rotich setting a world lead and a personal best (PB) in the men’s 1000m after stopping the timer at two minutes 14.88 seconds.

“It was hard work. It was very hot but it was hot for everyone so it is important to deliver. I enjoyed the crowd as they have come to see me so it is great for me.

“I love Stockholm. I have won here before so I think Stockholm likes me. I have run the distance before and enjoy it,” said Rotich in his post race interview with the IAAF.

Baharaini, Sadik Mikhou gave Rotich a run for his money to finish second in 2:16.09( PB) ahead of Briton Jake Wightman who crossed the finish line in 2:16.27 for the third podium place.

Meanwhile, Rio 2016 Olympic Games 10,000m and three time World bronze medalist Paul Tanui, London World Championships silver mwdalist Cyrus Rutto had a bad day in office finish out of the podium places.

Tanui who was competing in the men’s 5,000m clocked 13 minutes 49.06 seconds at position 13 folowef by compatriot Rutto who stopped the timer at 14:10.08.

World Indoor silver medalist Selemon Barega of Ethiopia kept close tabs with pace maker Cornelius Kangogo with countyman Abadi Hadis andBirhanu Belew as the Kenyan duo quickly faded at the back.

Barega took the race honours in 13:04.05 while Belew out sprinted Hadis at the homestreach to stop the timer at 13:04.25 forcing the Ethiopian to settle for third place in 13:06.76.

Nelly Jepkosgei was in the made a miscalculated move in the women’s 1500m which saw her drop from second place to finish fifth in 4:01.95.

Jepkosgei had a good front running chasing Gudaf Tsegey of Ethiopia in the first laps but ran out of gas in the last meters which saw the Ethiopian open a bigger gap as Briton Laura Muir, African Champion Rabebe Arafi of Morocco and American Jemny Simpson cruised past her.

Tsegey went for the top podium place in3:57. 64 followed by Muir (3:58.53) and Arafi (4:00.28) who sealed the available podium places as Simpson finished fourth in 4:00.34.

Next Diamond League meeting will be held on June 30, at Paris, France where top gun athletes are expected to showcase their talents.


Ferguson Rotich

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