World and Commonwealth 5,000m champion Kenya’s Hellen Obiri stormed to a World Lead and Meeting Record feat when she won the women’s 5,000m race during the Müller Anniversary Games at London Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
It’s Dutch Sifan Hassan, who led the pack through 4,000m in 11:39.09 before Obiri, the Africa 5,000m champion, had the final laugh winning 14:20.36 to shatter the previous Meeting Record of 14:33.65 set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2009.
Obiri exerted revenge against compatriot Agnes Jebet, who had beaten her in 5,000m race at Stockholm on May 30 and Hassan, who also edged her out in 3,000m at Prefontaine Classic on June 30.
“I am so happy since this is my favourite track, having won the World title here,” said Obiri, who tripped to finish 12th in Stockholm and sixth at Prefontaine Classic. “I have done my best and I ran the way I wanted to. I had to work after I hit past Hassan.”
However, both Jebet and Hassan returned career best times in the race.
Jebet, who is the World 10,000m bronze medallist, settled for second in 14:20.68 that is now the seventh fastest time ever in the history of the race as Hassan, who held the seventh fastest time with personal best 14:22.34 now improved her time to 14:22.12, which is now the new European Record.
Obiri’s time is the sixth fastest time ever in the women’s 5,000m history, having also set a Personal Best of 14:18.37 in Rome in 2017, a time that is the fifth fastest in the history of the race and a National Record.
It now makes Jebet the second fastest Kenyan in 5,000m, relegating Olympic 5,000m champion and former National Record holder, Vivian Cheruiyot, to third in 14:20.87.
It’s a race that saw Kenyans claim eight out of the top nine places mostly with career best times and season bests with only Hassan interrupting their flow.
African Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo, who was fresh from winning the Kenya Police Service 10,000m title, came in Personal Best 14:31.69 followed by Caroline Chepkoech (14:36.10-seasons best) and Eva Cherono (14:40.25-PB).
World Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet settled for seventh in personal best 14:46.12 followed by 2017 World Cross Country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait (14:48.69-SB) and Gloriah Kite (14:49.22-PB).
Obiri’s victory came a day after 2016 Diamond League winner Ferguson Rotich won his first race since Paris in June last year as Intercontinental Cup champion Winny Chebet finished second in women’s 1,500m.
Rotich clocked 1:43.14 to win, beating compatriot and Commonwealth champion Wyclife Kinyamal to second in 1:43.48 as Polish Marcin Lewandowski came in third in 1:43.74. Kinyamal won in Lausanne while Amos Nijel, who had won in Doha, Rabat and Morocco failed to finish the race.
Chebet chalked season best 3:59.93 but lost the 1,500m battle to home athlete Laura Muir, who won in 3:58.25.
After gifting compatriot Yomif Kejelcha in Lausanne when he ended the race with one lap to go, Hagos Gebrhiwet got it right this time around to win men’s 5,000m in 13:01.86 on Saturday.
Kenyans Nicholas Kipkorir and World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto cane in third and sixth in 13:05.48 and 13:07.40 respectively. World 10,000m bronze medallist Paul Tanui settled 11th in 13:23.27.