Big night for Kenyan athletes in Zurich

Kenya once again cemented their place as an Athletics powerhouse in the world after staging a mouth-watering performance at the Wanda Diamond League Final in Zurich on Thursday

Olympic and World champions Faith Chepng’etich (1,500m) and Emmanuel Korir retained their Diamond League Trophies with Commonwealth Games champion Mary Moraa (800m) clinching her maiden trophy in Switzerland .

Korir who ended his season with his fastest time of the year was rebounding from a loss in Brussels last weekend having timed his race to perfection in Zurich.

He held back from the early tempo, with the pacemaker leading the field through halfway in 50.41, then allowed world bronze medallist Marco Arop and world 1500m champion Jake Wightman to duel it out until the field hit the home straight.

The 27 year old then kicked hard and passed a fading Arop just before the line, winning in a world-leading 1:43.26. Arop was a close second in 1:43.38 while Wightman placed third in 1:44.10.

“I didn’t expect the last few metres to be this tough. I was still behind in the last 200m. Maybe the first 600m were a bit slow,” said Korir, who also sealed a hat-trick after previous wins in 2018 and 2021.

Chepng’etich asserted her supremacy as the world’s best in 1,500m when she pulled away with 20m to go to sealed her third Diamond League Trophy victory in four minutes and 00.44 seconds.

“It’s such a good feeling to finish the season strongly, this way and nicely after recapturing my World title in July in Oregon, United States,” said Chepng’etich, the 2017 and 2022 World 1,500m champion.

Moraa,the World 800m bronze medalist clocked 1:57.63 to cut the tape in the women’s 800m as Jamaican Natoya Goule and American Sage Hurta came second and third in 1:57.85 and 1:58.47 respectively.

She transitioned to 800m last year (having specialised in 400m previously).

“I am happy for my first diamond trophy, I am happy for my country, I am happy for my fans all over the world. Now, the season is over for me and will have like 3-4 weeks off. Then I start my program for the next season and I will continue with the 800m. I just know I have to improve my speed, I need to work on the 400m,” she said.

Chepng’etich, Korir and Moraa’s victories came a day after World 5,000m silver medallist Beatrice Chebet and Commonwealth Games 5,000m silver medallist Nicholas Kimeli won Diamond League Trophies in 5,000m at the same meeting.

  

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