The Wanda Diamond League headed to a close with a host of African athletes registering excellent results at the Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Friday as they stepped up their preparations for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Kenya, in particular, saw a number of athletes grab podium places with a notable clean sweep in the women’s 3,000m event.
In that event, Hellen Obiri led a Kenyan domination in which the East African country claimed the first five positions. Obiri won the race in a world-leading time of 8:22.54. Obiri’s winning time was also the second-fastest time of her career behind the 8:20.68 African outdoor record she set in 2014.
Her compatriots Agnes Jebet Tirop and Beatrice Chepkoech came in second and third respectively, both recording 8:22.92.
The race was a quick one as, for the first time in history, seven women finished inside 8:27.
After the race, Obiri, the 5,000m world champion, said Doha had become like a second home to her as she had won so many races there, including last year’s World Championships.
“I’ve been training in Doha for about a month in preparation for this event and I believe it has helped me to get in shape and acclimatise quite well,” Obiri said.
Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich finished first in the men’s 800m race in 1:44.16 ahead of Great Britain’s Elliot Giles while compatriot Wyclife Kinyamal claimed the bronze medal in 1:45.68. World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot finished a disappointing eighth place.
Elsewhere, women’s 1,500m Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon took home the gold medal in the women’s 800m race ahead of Spain’s Esther Guerrero and Britain’s Adelle Tracey. Kipyegon, who has hardly competed over the distance in the last three years, finished in a personal best and world-leading time of 1:57.68.
Ethiopian Habitam Alemu and Ugandan Winnie Nanyondo finished fourth and fifth respectively while 2013 World champion Eunice Sum finished eighth.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Arthur Cisse won the men’s 200m event with a new national record time of 20.23 beating Jamaica’s Julian Forte and France’s Christophe Lemaitre.
Another Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou (11.21 seconds) claimed the silver medal in the women’s 100m race, which was won by Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah in 10.87 seconds.
Nigeria’s Ese Brume picked up the silver medal in the women’s long jump after finishing behind Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk with Sweden’s Khaddi Sagnia in third place.