Wanyonyi stuns Olympic medalists for maiden Diamond League win

Emmanuel Wanyonyi

Emmanuel Wanyonyi celebrates after winning the men's 800m race during the Kip Keino Classic Gold Tour at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on May 7, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Cherono clocked a season’s best of 8:40.29 for her first Diamond League victory since 2015, beating Briton Amy-Eloise Markovc to second place in PB 8:40.32.
  • But Cherono had to give a frantic chase before overtaking Markovc in the last 30m to win.
  • “I'm so delighted to win today. I had to push myself harder in the last 15m after I took charge  and that resulted in achieving my season best. I now need to get ready for the trials for the World championship,” said Cherono.

World Under-20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi shocked Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir and Olympic silver medalist Ferguson Rotich to win the 800m race on his Diamond League debut in Rabat on Sunday.

Kenya’s Mary Moraa also chalked her maiden Diamond League, winning her 800m race in a personal best as her compatriot 2013 World 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono claimed the 5,000m victory.

With the pacesetter leaving after the bell, Wanyonyi chased Collins Kipruto, overtaking him before the home straight bend to win in one minute and 45.47 seconds.

The 2012 Olympic 800m silver medallist Amos Nigel from Botswana and Tual Gabriel from France dug deep on the home straight in pursuit , but Wanyonyi, who was fresh from winning the Golden Spikes, a World Athletics Continental Gold Tour event on May 31, was far much ahead.

Nijel settled second in 1:45.66 as Gabriel came third in 1:45.71 with Kipruto coming fourth in 1:46.29.

Korir and Michael Saruni came eighth and ninth in 1:46.93 and 1:47.93 respectively, while Rotich was 10th in 1:47.72.

“I gave everything I had today. I had the opportunity to win this race in Rabat, so I didn't want to miss it,” said Wanyonyi, adding that it was an easy win for him.

“I am in a good shape, I'm feeling great on the track, I'm very confident. Now I need to focus on the next event,” explained Wanyonyi, who now turns focus on the  Kenya trials for the World championships on July 14 to 24 in Oregon and the Commonwealth Games on July 28 to August 28 in Birmingham.

“I hope to qualify for these two competitions. If I can go to Eugene, I will go to chase the gold. For myself and for my country. About my best time, I think I can do 1 min 42 this season,” said Wanyonyi.

Moraa stepped on her gas cylinders to overtake Prudence Sekgodiso from South Africa with 40metres to go to win in a personal best of 1:58.93, beating her previous time of 1:59.25 from last year.

It also saw Moraa attain the World Championships qualifying time as she claimed revenge against Sekgodiso, who beat her at the Kip Keino Classic on May 7.

Sekgodiso came second in 1:59.23 followed by Renelle Lamote in 1:59.83.

“It feels fantastic to win here in the backdrop of an amazing huge crowd in this vibrant stadium. It feels awesome to run my personal best tonight,” said Moraa.

Cherono clocked a season’s best of 8:40.29 for her first Diamond League victory since 2015, beating Briton Amy-Eloise Markovc to second place in PB 8:40.32.

But Cherono had to give a frantic chase before overtaking Markovc in the last 30m to win.

“I'm so delighted to win today. I had to push myself harder in the last 15m after I took charge  and that resulted in achieving my season best. I now need to get ready for the trials for the World championship,” said Cherono.

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