Ethiopia’s Imane Merga, the reigning Diamond Race 5000m champion, proved to the world once again that he can’t be beaten at that distance. Merga was competing in the Compeed Golden Gala in Rome, Italy. The Gala is the third stop in the Samsung Diamond League series.
Using a powerful finishing kick, Merga won the race in 12:54.21. He had made his move against rivals Isaiah Koech and Vincent Chepkok in the final lap of the race. Koech, just 17 years old, came in second right behind Merga in 12:54.59. Chepkok, who had been doing most of the pacemaking in the race, rounded out third in 12:55.99.
“The race went exactly as I wanted with a not very fast start but a strong finish” recalled Merga. “Of course I am motivated and can fight for the World medals.”
Since last year, Merga has been coached by Renato Canova. His 5000m PR is 12:53.58, which was run in Stockholm in 2010.
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