Six meet records set at Doha Diamond league
RAAJIV TRIPATHI DOHA WORLD record holder David Rudisha came within a whisker of setting a meet record in the 800 metres race at the Samsung Diamond League opener on Friday. The tall Kenyan world champion finished his second race of the season and improved his world lead time of 1:44.33 by 0.33 of a second at the flood-lit Qatar Sports Club Stadium. With Ethiopian Mohammed Aman pulling out of the race, Rudisha missed a quality challenger but was fired up enough to prove that his preperations are on track for the Olympic Games. Taking part in the Diamond League’s first race in Doha after a year’s gap, Rudisha, after pace maker Silah Kipkoech Kosegi dropped out at around 500m mark, cantered down the track to clock 1:43.10 ahead of compatriot Job Kinyor and Briton Andrew Osagie, both coming up with their personal bests. “I’m very happy with my run tonight. I was telling my manager yesterday that I am planning to run like 1:43.50. But I got 1:43.10, which is a quite good time and improved upon my world leading time that I did in Melbourne,” said the world champion. “This is an important season as we have the Olympics, which is the biggest games in the world. This performance shows that I’m going along well during my preparations,” Rudisha added. American Walter Dix conjured up one of the six meet records to retain his 200m title. The double world silver medallist was off the blocks quick enough to get ahead on the bend. The 26-year-old bettered his own record of 20.06 by 0.04 of a second. silencing a massive crowd of Ethiopian fans.
In the process, Jelimo broke a string of six defeats to compatriot Janeth Jepkosgei, who finished third. This victory, she said was quite special. “It is a fantastic win for me. I have had problems (leg injury) in the past. But I’m coming back strongly. All I need to do is to stay focused and healthy. I am getting my confidence back and training with right people will help me defend my Olympic title in London.” Another battle that kept the crowd, dominated by the vocal Ethiopian and Kenyan fans, was between double world and Olympic champion Cheruiyot and former world record holder Maseret Defar in the 3,000m.
As the last 600m were left in the race, Cheruiyot was leading the charge. On the final bend, Defar closed the gap and came up to her side. Both matched pace for pace and the crowd got behind the leading runners at its noisiest. But in coming up to the Kenyan, Defar, who has had 13 world records to her name, appeared to have lost her steam and was beaten just on the finish line. While Cheruiyot clocked 8:46.44 as the world lead time, Defar could manage 8:46.49. Sylvia Jebiwot Kibet, another Kenyan, was third in 8:47.49.
In a battle of two world champions in the high jump, reigning indoor winner Greek Dimitrios Chondrokoukis defeated outdoor winner and defending champion Jesse Williams in the first Samsung Diamond League leg.
The Greek cleared 2.32m to win the title. Williams gave up trying once at the height and had to be satisfied with 2.30m.
He was second on the count back and third place went to French Mickael Hanany.
Olympic and world champion Asbel Kiprop was beaten by compatriot and world silver medallist Silas Kiplagat. The latter during the home stretch battle, was tripped a bit by the winner as he tried to push himself to the front. After losing a couple of steps, Kiprop could not recover and had to face a bitter taste of the defeat.
“This was just an accident and it happens sometimes in the races. But I’m happy with my preparations and time here,” said Kiprop, who had won 800m in Doha last year.
But the hot start that he generated left him quite exhausted and he took some time before regaining his breath. Just like the past year when he tied Ramon Clay’s meeting record and continued his superb run before pulling off two silvers in the World Championship in Daegu, he appears like having the same motivation in the Olympic year. “It was quite humid and I wanted to have a strong start. I’m delighted with my time and the victory in Doha again,” said the American, who beat Dutch Churandy Martina, who was fourth in the Beijing Olympic Games 100m, and Norwegian Jaysuma Saidy Ndure. Both Martina and Ndure also recorded their season’s best. Other five meet records were credited to American 200m Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix (100m), Olympic champion La Shawn Merritt (400m), double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot (3,000m), Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo (800m), 2012 world indoor silver medallist Augustine Kiprono Choge (3,000m), Paul Kipsiele Koech (3,000m steeplechase) and European champion Nadezhda Ostapchuk (shot put). Jelimo got a scare in the women’s 800m when Ehtiopian Fantu Magiso Manedo forged ahead on the home stretch. But the Olympic champion had enough reserve to edge past her in a close finish,