Cheruiyot in fourth win as Rotich, Kigen fall short despite PBs

Saturday July 13 2019

Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 1500m during the IAAF Diamond League competition on July 12, 2019 in Monaco. PHOTO | VALERY HACHE |

Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 1500m during the IAAF Diamond League competition on July 12, 2019 in Monaco. PHOTO | VALERY HACHE |  AFP

World and Commonwealth 1,500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot strolled to his fourth consecutive victory at the Monaco leg of the IAAF Diamond League to save Kenya some blushes on Friday night.

It was a fantastic display for Cheruiyot at the Stade Louis II stadium when he ran his way to victory in three minutes and 29.97 seconds.

Cheruiyot, the winner in Stockholm, Prefontaine and Lausanne, edged out Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway to second place in three minutes and 30.47 seconds as Ronald Musagala set a new Ugandan national record and personal best of three minutes, 30.58 seconds in third.

“I was expecting a sub 3:29 but it wasn’t a fast race. I’m still happy for the victory,” said Cheruiyot, who is expected to highlight the two-day Kenya Prison Service Athletics Championships next week starting Friday at Kasarani.

Cheruiyot, who is the Diamond League 1,500m Series defending champion said his ultimate target is the World Championships trials next month.

The 2016 Diamond League 800m Series winner Ferguson Rotich and compatriot 3,000m steeplechaser Benjamin Kigen failed the test in their respective races despite gliding to personal best times.

Rotich clocked one minute and 42.54 seconds but the 800m victory went to Commonwealth and Africa 800m champion Amos Nijel from Botswana, who set a meet record time of one minute, 41.89 seconds. Nijel’s victory time is not only the sixth fastest ever in the two-lap race history but also the fastest since David Rudisha’s world record breaking time of one minute and 40.91 seconds at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Nijel claimed silver during the Olympics in a time of one minute and 41.73 seconds, which is the third fastest.

“I am happy to improve my personal best. I came here prepared to run my best,” said Rotich.

Kigen’s hopes of sealing a double after his exploits in Rome, went up in smoke when Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali overtook him just after the last barrier to win in a world lead of eight minutes, 4.82 seconds.

The night also belonged to Dutch Sifan Hassan, who took on the Brave Like Gabe Mile in an astonishing time of four minutes, 12.33 seconds, setting a new world record. Second place went to Great Britain’s Laura Weightman with a personal best four minutes, 17.6 seconds as Gabriela Stafford secured third in a Canadian record of four minutes, 17.87 seconds.

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