Doha – In the men’s 3000m, meeting poster boy Mo Farah didn’t win, but the reigning double Olympic and world champion didn’t seem too bothered by his runner-up finish, either.
“My main focus is not the 3000,” said the Briton, who was out-kicked by Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet 7:38.08 (world lead) to 7:38.22. “I started the season again with a loss, but it doesn’t matter that much to lose in an opening meeting of the Diamond League. I tried for a late kick in the final 200 metre but it just wasn’t there.”
It wasn’t for lack of trying. Farah held back for much of the race’s first half before moving to the front with three laps to go. But he fell back quickly as the pack switched gears at the bell. With a half lap to go, Farah was well back in fourth, but found his own closing gear down the homestretch when he ran down everyone but Hagos.
In the women’s steeplechase, Virginia Nyambura of Kenya decided that her pace-setting duties weren’t quite enough, so she continued running and went on to win the event in a thrilling sprint finish over Hiwot Ayelew 9:21.51 to 9:21.54, another world lead.
Seyaum and Souleiman surprise
In the women’s race, it was 18-year-old Dawit Seyaum of Ethiopia, last year’s world junior champion, who spoiled the latest round of the Sifan Hassan-Abebe Aregawi rivalry.
With Aregawi well out of contention, the Dutchwoman Hassan seemed in control as she passed the bell about two strides ahead of Seyaum, and brought a steady metre-and-half-lead into the backstretch, one she padded as she made her way around the final bend. But the teenager wouldn’t relent.
On her heels from the top of the homestretch, Seyaum moved to the front with about 40 metres to go, allowed a smile onto her face about 15 metres from the finish, and fell to the track just beyond the line. But she was still smiling.
She clocked 4:00.96 with Hassan stopping the clock in 4:01.40. Another Ethiopian, Senbere Teferi (4:01.86), was third.
In the 800m, the men’s face-off between world champions Asbel Kiprop and Mohammed Aman never materialised. Instead, it became a strong platform for Ayanleh Souleiman, the world indoor champion in the 1500m, to shine over a shorter distance. The 22-year-old powered away down the homestretch to win in 1:43.78, nearly a second clear of Kenyans Ferguson Rotich (1:44.53) and Alfred Kipketer (1:44.59). Kiprop was a distant fifth and Aman, never a factor, was ninth.
Read more at: Diamond League