• Apart from gaining endurance, the reigning 1,500m African champion confirmed that he is keen to compete in the longer race in the near future to pave way for upcoming runners in the shorter races.
• My target will be to get a good time but if the world record comes my way it will be good. I want to run my personal best in Monaco this year — Manangoi
Reigning world 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi will skip the All Africa Games set for Morocco in August to concentrate on defending his title a month later Doha, Qatar.
Apart from competing in his favourite 1,500m, the Commonwealth Games champion is keen to upgrade and compete in the 5,000m in Doha. Manangoi first tested the last weekend during the Athletics Kenya meeting at Narok Stadium. Manangoi, who competes alongside his young brother George Manangoi in the three and a half lap race, said competing in the 5,000 race is part of his plan to improve his endurance in 1,500m.
“That was my first 5,000m race and running my best time in my home county was good. I ran 5,000m to gain endurance for the 1,500m and it worked for me. I am planning to compete in 5,000m in future,” said the Narok-born runner.
Apart from gaining endurance, the reigning 1,500m African champion confirmed that he is keen to compete in the longer race in the near future to pave way for upcoming runners in the shorter races.
“Youngsters are coming up very fast just like my brother, who ran very well in Narok. We need to give these youngsters space in the shorter races. It has always been my dream to run the 5,000m and I am happy I have started the journey. The journey may not stop there because once I stabilise, I will want to go all the way to the marathon,” he noted.
As he recovers from an injury he picked while competing in Stockholm, Manangoi said the weather did not favour him.
“My target will be to get a good time but if the world record comes my way it will be good. I want to run my personal best in Monaco this year. The All Africa Games are not in my plans because I want to focus on Doha,” concluded Manangoi after finishing 7th in Heat 3 in Narok.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Margaret Chelimo got the better of European 5000m record holder Siffan Hassan as she won the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Hengelo.
After announcing her ambition earlier in the week to break her European record, Sifan Hassan fell 16 seconds short of her target.
She was unable to follow the Wavelight — an electronic system on the inside of the track that lights up to reflect a desired pace — and so unwittingly became a pacemaker for the rest of the field, passing 2000m in 5:46.74 and 3000m in 8:42.87.
A lead pack of four — Hassan, Kipkemboi, Eva Cherono and Hawi Feysa — began to pull away in the second half, even though the pace continued to decrease. Cherono led for much of the final kilometre but was passed by the three other women in the lead pack as they reached the final lap.
Hassan hit the front, but couldn’t shake off the challenge of Kipkemboi and Feysa. With 100m left, Kipkemboi passed a struggling Hassan and went on to win in a world-leading 14:37.22, the second-fastest time of her career. Hassan finished second in 14:38.54, 0.22 ahead of Feysa.
The men’s race was even closer, but this time the pre-race favourite came out on top. Three days after winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome, Ethiopia’s Telahun Haile Bekele was pushed all the way in the men’s 5000m by Nicholas Kimeli but did just enough to hold off the Kenyan. Bekele won in 12:57.56 with Kimeli close behind in a PB of 12:57.90.