Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal blew away the 10-year Meet Record with victory in men’s 800m race at Shanghai Diamond League on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Kinyamal edged out Jonathan Kitilit just a few meres to the line, clocking 1 minute and 43.91 seconds, to erase Wilfred Bungei’s Meet Record time of 1:44.63 set on September 20, 2008.
Kitilit hit the 400m mark in 51.20 seconds just behind the pacesetter before holding on with Kinyamal in hot pursuit.
Kinyamal stepped up on his gas pedal just to overtake the battling Kitilit with 30 meters to go to win not only his maiden Diamond League race but also on his debut in the Series.
Kitilit settled second in a season’s best of 1:43.95 as 2018 World Indoor 1,500m silver medallist Marcin Lewandowski from Poland came in third also in a season’s best of 1:45.41.
As expected, World and Commonwealth 1,500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot from Kenya successfully defended his 1,5000m title, clocking a world leading time of 3:31.48.
Cheruiyot, who is also the Series defending champion, beat the 2018 World Indoor 1,500m champion Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera to second place in 3:31.63 with 2012 World Indoor 1,500m champion Abdelaati Iguider timing 3:32.72 for third place.
“To claim a personal best and meeting record clearly shows the race was fine,” said Kinyamal, adding that the first 400m were okay as he was placed third.
“We were fighting in the last 100m, but I was stronger and I knew it,” said Kinyamal, who comes from the same village as Olympic champion and World Record holder David Rudisha.
“He was always my example. Now I take over the great athlete,” said Kinyamal.
Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech bounced back from 2017 London World Championships disappointment to win women’s 3,000m steeplechase race.
Chepkoech, who is fresh from winning silver in 1,500m at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, clocked a world leading time of 9:07.27 to win and guide fellow Kenyans in a sweep of the first six places.
It was Chepkoech’s first steeplechase race since 2017 London World Championships where she missed the water barrier to finish fourth despite being favourite.
Chepkoech edged out former Africa champion Norah Jeruto, who glided and fell on the wet tartan after she scaled to last barrier.
Jeruto clocked 9:09.30 and was followed in third place by former World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Daisy Jepkemei in 9:15.56.