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Friday, February 26, 2010

Kenyan and Ethiopian runners fail to set new records


ONDON,UK -- Runners Tirunesh Dibaba and Vivian Cheruiyot failed to set a new record over the two mile distance at the Aviva Grand Prix meeting in Birmingham on Saturday.

Dibaba was after compatriot Meseret Defar's world best of 9:06.26, but the Olympic champion produced a stunning second mile to clock 9:12.23, the second quickest of all time, followed closely by Cheruiyot in 9:12.35 and Sentayehu Ejigu another 0.33s behind.

Dibaba's time was the fastest ever seen in the UK, while in fourth Jessica Augusto ran 9:19.39, a European indoor best and a Portuguese record.
Dibaba is expected turn her focus to the world cross country championships while Cheruiyot will now hope to be named in a six-member Kenyan team to the world indoor championship set for next month in Doha.

In the 800m race, Poland's Marcin Lewandowski won in 1:47.50, beating Kenyan Richard Kiplagat (1:47.55) to second and Britain's Andrew Osagie (1:47.71) to third.

Uganda's Abraham Chepkirwok was seventh in 1:50.33. There was much to cheer for the home crowd too as Jenny Meadows erased Kelly Holmes' national record to win the 800m.

The world bronze medalist powered away from the field on the third lap to win in 1:59.11 leaving Ukraine's Yuliya Krevsun trailing in second in 2:00.36.

With Kenenisa Bekele injured with a tight calf, the dream of breaking a 12-year old Daniel Komen's 7:24.90 record went up in smoke.

Sammy Mutahi won the race in 7:44.58 ahead of Ethiopia's Dejene Gebremeskel 7:45.42. World outdoor 3,000m steeplechase record holder Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar was third in 7:46.97.

It was a similar story in the men's 1500m where Deresse Mekonnen moved to number five all-time as he improved his own world leading mark and broke the UK record with 3:33.10, a time that surprised even himself.

"To run 3:33 indoors, I can't believe it," he said.

Kenyans Augustine Choge and Gideon Gathimba set personal best times of 3:33.74 and 3:35.40 in second and third places respectively.

Bernard Lagat's best of the year, 3:35.49, was good enough only for fourth.

Gelete Burka also moved into the all-time top ten as she won the women's mile in 4:23.53, the ninth quickest ever over the one mile distance, dragging her young compatriot Kakedan Gezahegn to a second World junior record in the space of a month.

Gezahegn, the world junior 1,500m silver medallist, finished second behind Burka in 4:24.10, smashing a mark which has been on the record books for 30 years.

Burka, who passed 1,500m in 4:06.90, was chased hard by Maryam Jamal but the Bahraini had to be satisfied with third in 4:24.71, her best time indoors.