Kenyan trio bag Diamond Trophy success in Zurich
- Emmanuel Korir and Mary Moraa won the 800m
- Faith Kipyegon clinched the 1500m title
- Kenyans failed to sparkle in the steeplechase
World Champions Faith Kipyegon and Emmanuel Korir as well as Commonwealth Games champion Mary Moraa clinched the Diamond Trophy titles as the season came to an end in Zurich.
Moraa and Korir won the 800m while Kipyegon bossed the women’s 1500m.
Kipyegon has had a brilliant season, clinching the Diamond Trophy hot on the heels of winning her second world title and running the second fastest 1500m race of all time at the Monaco leg of the Diamond League last month.
“I was feeling really good and I wanted to finish the season in this way with a nice race. I just confronted the race in the final 100m and kicked to win. It feels special for me to win the Diamond Trophy and now I just want to go home, take a rest and spend time with my daughter,” Kipyegon stated.
She added; “This was a really strong field, but then I kept thinking this was the last race of the season, and I took the opportunity to end it in a nice way. It has been a long season, and, indeed, my legs are tired, but I think I still managed to run a good time all things considered.”
Kipyegon dominated the race from start to finish, just as she has done all season. Straight from the gun, she took to the lead and maintained a steady gap, just hanging on the shadow of the pace setter.
Kipyegon makes her move at the bell
At the bell, she started to make her move with the chasing pack led by Britain’s Laura Miur and Ethiopian Hailu Freweyni romping behind her. However, she could not let go and in the final 200m kicked away, creating a sizeable gap.
She finished in a time of 4:00.44 while Ciara Mageean of Ireland was second in 4:01.68, beating Freweyni who finished third in 4:01.73.
Meanwhile in the women’s 800m, Moraa finished off her season in style. The 23-year old last month clinched the Commonwealth Games title and won bronze at the World Championships.
Last week, she broke the national 400m record for the second time in less than two months and Zurich offered her a perfect place to finish in style.
She got into the race with a well worked determination to battle for victory and she did so in a time of 1:57.63, ahead of Jamaican Natoya Goule who clocked 1:57.85.
Different from her previous runs at the Worlds and the Commonwealth Games, Moraa chose to run from the front from start. At the bell, she was in the lead with Goule and World Championship silver medalist Keeley Hodgkinson perched on her back.
She kept them at bay and despite Hodgkinson threatening to strike at the home stretch, she resisted. In the final 80m, Jamaican Goule pushed from the inside lane trying to steal a gap and go all the way, but Moraa had good finishing power to win the race.
“It is a really huge delight for me to finish the season in this way. I am happy to have won my first ever Diamond League Trophy. Now I need some rest to focus on the new season,” she noted.
Korir runs World Leading time in the men’s race
In the men’s race, Korir ran a World Leading 1:43.26 to win the trophy and also finish his season on a high. He narrowly edged out Canadian Marco Arop with a last dash sprint.
At the backstraight, Arop had come off from second to sprint into the lead and was followed by Commonwealth champion Wycliffe Kinyamal with Korir trailing all the way back in fifth.
But, the world champion had a card off his sleeves. He ran off on the outside at the home stretch and dug deep into his energy reserves to power past Arop on the line with Kinyamal finishing fourth behind World 1500m Champion Jake Wightman.
In the men and women’s steeplechase, Kenyans once again played second fiddle. Soufiane El Bakkali continued to dominate in the men’s race as he won the Diamond Trophy with Getnet Wale finishing second while Commonwealth Games Champion Abraham Kibiwott was third.
In the women’s race, Werkuha Getachew of Ethiopia won the race ahead of Kenyan-born Bahraini Winfred Yavi. Commonwealth Champion Jackline Chepkoech who won in Brussels last weekend looked spent as she laboured to finish fifth while compatriot Faith Cherotich, the World U20 champion was third.