Kenyans have again shown to the world their firm grip on marathon races remain intact after dominating proceedings during the middle-distance races on a night when athletes competed at the Doha Diamond League meeting.
Men’s 1,500m world and three-time Diamond League champion Timothy Cheruiyot ran a patient race to win in a world leading time of 3:30.48 to kick-start his season.
In the women’s 800m, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon nudged through on the inside to secure an impressive win in a time of 1:58.26 for the 1,500m Olympic champion and world silver medallist.
“I did my personal best here in Doha, so it’s really, really great to be here,” Kipyegon said. “I am training so hard and hoping to do my best, so I am putting all my mind on it. The pandemic wasn’t easy but we always try to be great.”
Another Kenyan, 21-year-old Beatrice Chebet, won the 3,000m with a world leading time of 8:27.49 sprinting ahead of Hellen Obiri, the twice world 5,000m champion, who faded towards the end of the race and finished a disappointing fourth.
“It’s my first time winning in the Diamond League and here in Doha,” Chebet said. “I didn’t expect to win. I did well today and now I am preparing for the Olympics.”
Chebet said she hoped to run the 5,000m in Tokyo.
In the men’s 400m, Michael Norman ran a world leading 44.27 to continue his winning 2021, while in the women’s pole vault American Katie Nageotte won on the countback by clearing 4.84m.
She defeated compatriot and Olympic silver medallist Sandi Morris, who finished second and Greek Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi (4.74) who was fourth.
Another standout performance came from Venezuela’s Olympic triple jump silver medallist Yulimar Rojas who won with 15.15m.
“I am happy to leave a footprint here in Doha,” she said. “I enjoy this path, when it will be Tokyo’s turn I’ll be prepared and I’ll try to win the gold medal.”