Kiprop fails in World Record bid as Birech stars again

PHOTO | JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET Botswana's Nijel Amos (centre) competes to win the men's 800m event next to French-Pierre Ambroise Bosse (2R) during the IAAF Diamond League Herculis Athletics meeting at the Louis II stadium on July 18, 2014 in Monaco.

What you need to know:

  • It is a night that also saw Eunice Sum’s unbeaten run comes to an end after she lost to Wilson Ajee from the United States of America in women’s 800m.
  • Youngster Ronald Kwemoi, who broke the World Junior record with a new time of 3:28.81, finished third.
  • Sum finished second in a season best 1:57.92 as Ajee won in world lead time of 1:57.67.

It was a night that World champion Asbel Kiprop failed in his bid for the 1,500m World Record in Monaco on Friday as Olympic and World 800m record holder David Rudisha was floored for the second time this season.

The night also saw Eunice Sum’s unbeaten run come to an end after she lost to Wilson Ajee from the United States of America in women’s 800m while Jairus Birech continued with his reign in the 3,000m steeplechase, winning his fourth consecutive race after Rome, Oslo and Lausanne with a 50m margin.

The 24-year-old Kiprop had planned to make an attempt at Hicham El Guerrouj's World Record time of 3:26.00 that has stood since July 14, 1998 from Rome but compatriot and Commonwealth Games champion Silas Kiplagat spoilt the party for him when he produced the shock of the meeting. Kiplagat outsprinted Kiprop to win in 3:27.64.

His mark was the best run this year and a Diamond League record, trimming 0.08 off the time Kiprop set in winning in Monaco last year. Two-time world champion Kiprop finished in a season best of 3:28.45 in what was a huge anti-climax to his record breaking ambition.

KWEMOI SETS NEW RECORD

Youngster Ronald Kwemoi, who broke the World Junior record with a new time of 3:28.81, finished third.

“At 1200m I knew the race was too slow,” said Kiprop. “We went through in 2.47 and I had asked for 2.45. In the home stretch, I could see the others behind me on the big screen and I knew they would get back. I could see Silas coming closer and closer. It was a tough race,” said Kiprop.

The victorious Kiplagat is now thinking in terms of mounting a world record attempt.

“I have the fastest time now, but why not be faster and attack the world record?” he posed after the race. “I’m still young and ready to train for it. I always run well here, so I’m thinking my win and result is no surprise. I was aware I can do it.”

Rudisha faded to fifth in a race won by Botswana’s Nijel Amos in a world leading time of 1:42.45, with Pierre-Ambroise Bosse setting a French record of 1:42.53 in second place.

As Rudisha had hoped, he managed a 1.42 clocking here, but Kenya’s London 2012 Olympic Games champion had to concede the honours in a stupendously competitive race to the man who followed him home in London.

As Rudisha faded, two others moved past him in the final 10 metres: Ethiopia’s 2013 world champion Mohammed Aman, who clocked a season’s best of 1:42.83, and Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich Cheruiyot, who finished fourth in a personal best of 1:42.84.

Sum finished second in a season best 1:57.92 as Ajee won in world lead time of 1:57.67.

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