Genzebe Dibaba stormed to an Ethiopian record in the women’s 1500m, her compatriot Hagos Gebrhiwet won men’s 5000m, whilst Kenyans Milcah Chemos Cheywa (3000m S/C women) and Leonard Kosencha (800m men) took comfortable wins on a rainy evening at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China on Saturday.
An impressive Dibaba totally dominated the race from the moment the pacemaker dropped out with a composed surge to the line, clocking 3:57.77, a national record, a meeting record and the fastest in the world for two seasons.
With the world indoor title already in her pocket, this youngest of the Ethiopian Dibaba sisters is destined for great things.
Dibaba’s compatriot, Abeba Aregawi was second in a personal best time of 3:59.23, with Moroccan Ibtissam Lakhouad third in 4:01.69 and Kenyan Helen Obiri fourth in 4:03.15.
World bronze medallist, Milcah Chemos of Kenya, set a new meeting record of 9:15.81 which is also a new world lead for 2012. In second was Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia just a few steps and a second behind, while third was Kenya’s Lidya Chepkurui in a personal best 9:22.66
Milcah Chemos had a fine 2011 in the steeplechase, but failed at the final hurdle in the world championships when she could manage no higher than the bronze medal position. Here, though, she took over where she left off before Daegu with a gutsy win, the fifth fastest of her career.
She often looked uncomfortable in the rainy conditions, but it was when she came under greatest pressure from Ethiopian Sofia Assefa in the final straight that she relaxed the most to cruise to victory.
Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet was probably the most unrecognisable of the contenders for 5000m honours here. He had a road time of 13:14 from Carlsbad this season, but little else to indicate he was capable of winning. In the event, he not only won but set a meeting record of 13:11.00 and left in his wake a raft of East African talent including Olympic champion and fellow-countryman, Kenenisa Bekele.
World youth champion, Leonard Kosencha of Kenya, took the men’s 800m in pouring rain in 1:46.04 with fellow Kenyan, Timothy Kiptum second (1:46.20) and South African Andre Olivier third (1:46.74).
American Janay DeLoach’s sets a meeting record in the Long Jump, 6.73m, which represents the tenth longest of her career for the world indoor silver medallist. Spare a thought, though, for Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who led for most on the competition with 6.64m only to be denied in the final round on this her season debut.
Nigeria’s Okagbare was third in the women’s 200m, equalling her personal best 22.71 secs in windy conditions.
The race was virtually a re-run of the world championships in Daegu as the American Carmelita Jeter pressed hard only for the Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown to show impressive strength to win in 22.50 to 22.62 over the stumbling American.
There were impressive wins in the 400m for Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills (50.00) over World Champion Amantle Montsho from Botswana (50.83).
Genzebe DIBABA (ETH) 3:57.77, WL, MR, NR
Abeba AREGAWI (ETH) 3:59.23, PB
Ibtissam LAKHOUAD (MAR) 4:01.69
Helen OBIRI (KEN), 4:03.15
Leonard Kirwa KOSENCHA (KEN) 1:46.04
Timothy KITUM (KEN) 1:46.20, SB
Andre OLIVIER (RSA) 1:46.74
3000m Steeplechase Women
Milcah Chemos Cheywa (KEN) 9:15.81 WL, MR
Sofia Assefa (ETH) 9:16.83
Lydia Chepkurui (KEN) 9:22.66, PB
Mercy Njoroge (KEN) 9:26.50
Long Jump Women
Janay DELOACH (USA) 6.73m MR
Blessing OKAGBARE (NGR) 6.64m
Funmi Jimoh (USA) 6.53m