Olympics and 800m record holder David Rudisha failed to leave upto expectations, falling to rival Botswana’s Nigel Amos in the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday night.
For the better part of the race, it looked like Rudisha was going to follow up his victory in New York exactly according to plan.
The tall, powerful Kenyan had taken his familiar place at the front once the pacemaker had dropped away on the second lap and he entered the straight having distanced himself from all his opposition—save for the determined little figure of the man who followed him home to take silver at the London 2012 Olympics, Nijel Amos.
The Botswana athlete, gritting his teeth with the effort, moved up to Rudisha halfway down the straight, and as he did so an anxious glance back from the champion whose past two years have been blighted by a succession of injuries was the giveaway sign that the race would go to Amos.
His winning time was a season’s best of 1:43.27, with Rudisha clocking 1:43.76 and third place going to his fellow Kenyan Ferguson Rotich Cheruiyot, who recorded 1:44.44.
The pace proved too hot for Ethiopia’s world indoor and outdoor champion Mohammed Aman, who was eighth in 1:46.03.
Since their first clash at the 2012 Olympics, which Rudisha won, Amos has now won their five other encounters to date. “The race didn’t go as I planned but I am happy with it,” said Rudisha. “Now I have to get back to the drawing board and work on my last 100m.”
Fast-rising steeplechaser Virginia Nyambura was the only Kenyan to sparkle in Lausanne as she recorded her third win in the Diamond League circuit.
Emma Coburn of the United States led for most of the second half of the 3000m steeplechase, but as the bell went, she found two African opponents moving past her, with Nyambura leading the way ahead of Ethiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew.
The Kenyan maintained her form to the line, which she crossed in a meeting record of 9:16.99, with Ayalew finishing in 9:17.22 and Coburn settling for third in 9:20.67.
Kenya’s Jebet Ruth placed fourth in 9:26.87 while Lydia Chepkirui was relegated to fifth in 9:33.03. Caroline Tuigong also posted a personal best after finishing seventh in 9:34.15.
Nyambura now tops the 300m SC standings with 14 points followed by Ayalew with 9 points and Hyvin Kiyeng with 7 points.
Nyambura won the opening leg in Doha and made a repeat performance in Birmingham.
Delighted by her victory Nyambura said, “The race went as I had planned and I am quite happy to have won. My aim is to break Kenyan record of 9:07.14,”
Double World 5000m champion Mo Farah once again proved a hard nut to crack as he raced his way to victory in his speciality.
Farah was returning to competition for the first time since pulling out of last month’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham and flying back to his Oregon training base, citing mental and physical exhaustion.
The potential challenger Caleb Ndiku, who was among the leading pack, fell just 150m to the last bell and efforts to recover were futile as he placed 11th 13:32.35.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke