At the latest IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday, Hellen Obiri set a new Kenyan record en route to a dominating victory in the women’s 5000 meter event. Obiri finished with a record time for her nation of 14 minutes, 18.37 seconds. Before the event, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba was considered the favorite, and she led up to the 3000 meter mark before fading and ceding the lead to Obiri. Dibaba finished in a disappointing sixth place, with a time of 14 minutes, 41.55 seconds. Kenyan Agnes Tirop finished in second with 14 minutes and 33.09 seconds, while Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey rounded out the medal stand with a third place finish at 14 minutes and 33.32 seconds.
Meanwhile, in the women’s 1500 meter event, Ethiopian Shifan Hassan, who was representing the Netherlands, completed an excellent 60.7 second final lap to win with a 3 minute, 56.22 second time. Kenyan Winny Chebet finished in second with 3 minutes, 59.16 seconds, a personal best for her. In the women’s 400 meter hurdles, which was not included in the official Diamond League lineup, South Africa’s Wenda Nel Theron finished in third place with 54.14 seconds, while Botswanan Lydia Jele finished in sixth. Jamaican Janieve Russell and Dane Sara Petersen finished in first and second place.
Over on the men’s side, Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto, who was targeting a sub-eight minute finish, still won the 3000 meter steeplechase with an impressive 8 minute, 4.63 second time, a season best for Kipruto. “I started this season as planned. 8:04 is a good time,” Kipruto said after the race, pleased with the result. Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali and Kenyan Jairus Birech finished second and third respectively. Kenya was less fortunate in the men’s 800 meter, where Kipyegon Bett was unable to overcome a four-second advantage by Adam Kszczot of Poland.