OSLO, Norway- World 1500m champion Elijah Manangoi returned to top form with an excellent victory in the Dream Mile at the Bislett Games on Thursday night, the fifth meeting of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League.
The Kenyan timed his effort to perfection, utilising his considerable range of gears from the front on the final lap to hold off Sadik Mikhou of Bahrain in 3:56.95, with Mikhou taking second in 3:57.10 and Ethiopia’s Taresa Tolosa third in 3:57.92.
Not a soul had left a packed Bislett Stadium as the final event of the night began in broad daylight shortly before 10pm, Norwegian hopes pinned on brothers Henrik and Filip Ingebrigtsen.
The first 800 metres was covered in a steady 1:57.93, but the pace slowed in a major way on the third lap, covered in 64.24 seconds, as athletes looked at each other and recharged for the final kick.
And while world 1500m bronze medallist Filip Ingebrigtsen made a bold bid to mix it with Manangoi when the pace was ratcheted up in the back straight, in the end he had no response after recent injuries and had to settle for fourth in 3:57.97, with Henrik Ingebrigtsen coming home sixth in 3:58.46.
“It’s a special feeling to win the Dream Mile,” said Manangoi. “It was a tough race, although it looks easy. I wanted to attack in the last 100 metres and that’s what happened.”
A chaotic women’s 3000m steeplechase provided some level of answer to the question about what would have happened last week in Rome when world champion Emma Coburn came to grief at the final water jump.
This time around, it boiled down to a head-to-head clash with Hyvin Kiyeng of Kenya – her conqueror that day – and Kiyeng proved that Rome win was no fluke.
After a swift opening kilometre of 3:01.80, the pace slowed considerably and 2000m was reached in 6:09.42.
Soon after the Kenyan seized command, opening an eight-metre lead on Coburn on the final lap, which the American began to close around the last turn.
Kiyeng was all out down the home straight to hold off Coburn, but that she did, 9:09.63 to 9:09.70, with Daisy Chepkemei third in 9:16.87.
“It was all about the win, I was not thinking about times at all,” said Kiyeng. “I had some injuries in Rome and wanted to continue winning. Fast times will come in July.”
The men’s 10,000m saw Kenya’s Dominic Kiptarus take victory in 28:05.34 from Australia’s Stewart McSweyn (28:35.37) and Switzerland’s Julien Wanders (28:07.15). Norway’s marathon specialist Sondre Moen finished fifth in 28:37.92.
-Report by the IAAF. Read more athletics here