British distance running great bids victorious farewell as CJ Ujah and Ruth Jebet also storm to Diamond League success
Hellen Obiri obliterates field with 14:18 in Rome 5000mJune 8, 2017
Kenyan moves to fifth on the world all-time list with her national record, while Britain’s Chijindu Ujah and Thomas Röhler are also among Golden Gala Pietro Mennea meeting winners
Hellen Obiri clocked the eighth best-ever 5000m time of 14:18.37 to put her at No.5 on the world all-time list after a storming run at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea meeting in Rome on Thursday.
The Diamond League race had been billed as a world record attempt, with Genzebe Dibaba said to be targeting her sister Tirunesh’s time of 14:11.15. That never really looked likely, but as Dibaba started to struggle, Obiri seemed to grow stronger and a mid-race burst of speed including a 64.75 lap did further damage.
After a last lap of 65.4, Olympic silver medallist Obiri crossed the finishing line in 14:18.37 to secure victory by more than 14 seconds.
Kenya’s 2015 world cross country champion Agnes Tirop was second in a 14:33.09 PB, just ahead of Ethiopia’s two-time world junior cross country gold medallist Letesenbet Gidey with a personal best of 14:33.32.
Her fellow Ethiopian Dibaba faded to sixth, clocking 14:41.55, while Britain’s Steph Twell was 16th in 15:24.05. Eilish McColgan did not finish.
Olympic champion Thomas Röhler was another athlete to impress as he kept his composure to throw 90.06m in the javelin competition to regain the lead ahead of his fellow German Johannes Vetter, whose 88.15m in the fifth round had put him ahead.
Britain’s Chijindu Ujah claimed a big win in the non-Diamond League 100m. Holding his form all the way to the line, he edged ahead in a strong field and clocked a season’s best 10.02 for victory. Behind him France’s Jimmy Vicaut and USA’s Ronnie Baker both clocked 10.05.
“It was a decent race but a bit scrappy towards the end,” said Ujah. “I’m trying to be free – that’s the motif for today from my coach.
“I was just trying to be free and focus on my lane because I know the guys out there are fast. I just had to focus on my own race.”
The women’s 100m win was claimed by Dafne Schippers as she went sub-11 seconds once again with 10.99 from Marie-Josée Ta Lou’s 11.03. Britain’s Desiree Henry was sixth in 11.32. The men’s 200m saw Andre De Grasse victorious as he ran 20.01, while there were big cheers for Italian 18-year-old Filippo Tortu for his 20.34 in fourth.
A dominant run in the women’s 1500m resulted in a 3:56.22 meeting record and world lead by world indoor champion Sifan Hassan as she came close to her PB from 2015. The Dutch athlete led the field to some fast times, with runner-up Winny Chebet clocking a 3:59.16 PB, while Germany’s 20-year-old European indoor silver medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen followed up her recent 14:51.38 5000m and 1:59.65 800m performances with another impressive time of 3:59.30 for third.
The battle in the 3000m steeplechase came down to the final bend as Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto and Rio fourth-placer Soufiane El Bakkali were shoulder to shoulder. It was the Rio gold medallist who again had the strongest finish and he cleared the final barriers best to pull away and cross the line clear – 8:04.63 to 8:05.17, that time a big PB for the runner-up.
USA’s Natasha Hastings stormed to a decisive win in the 400m, clocking 50.52 from Novlene Williams-Mills’ 51.04, while a tactical 800m saw world silver medallist Adam Kszczot on top with 1:45.96 from Kipyegon Bett’s 1:46.00 as Nijel Amos suffered a fall and finished 11th.
Aries Merritt was back to winning ways in the 110m hurdles as the world record-holder dipped for a time of 13.13 to beat Spain’s Orlando Ortega with 13.17. Britain’s Andrew Pozzi started strongly but faded to fourth in 13.24.
Olympic and world champion Caterine Ibargüen suffered just her second defeat since 2012, placing second in the triple jump with a best of 14.78m from world indoor champion and Olympic silver medallist Yulimar Rojas’ 14.84m leap.
London 2012 gold medallist Olga Rypakova, who beat Ibargüen in last year’s Birmingham Diamond League meeting, was third with a jump of 14.64m.
Before the women’s 5000m there had been another world record attempt in the women’s pole vault as, with victory secured, Katerina Stefanidi had the bar raised to 5.07m but she failed her three tries. British record-holder Holly Bradshaw started off by clearing 4.40m on her first attempt but she retired from the competition after two attempts at 4.55m.
The high jump was won by Russia’s Mariya Lasitskene, competing as a neutral athlete, as she cleared 2.00m, with Britain’s Morgan Lake finishing fourth with her season’s best-equalling 1.91m.
China’s world and 2012 Olympic shot put silver medallist Gong Lijiao unleashed the second-furthest throw in the world this season, recording 19.56m to win the first Diamond League event of the evening.
The non-Diamond League women’s 400m hurdles was won by Jamaica’s Janieve Russell in 54.14 from Olympic silver medallist Sara Petersen with 54.35. Britain’s Eilidh Doyle placed ninth in a season’s best 55.86.
» Full results can be found here