• Ethiopia's Halu Lemlem beats 2014 Commonwealth 5,000m silver medalist Mercy Cherono and African 1,500m champion Winny Chebet to the finish line
• Tightly-contested race motivates Chebet and Cherono for rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
2014 Commonwealth 5,000m silver medalist Mercy Cherono and African champion Winny Chebet lost to Ethiopia’s Halu Lemlem in the 1,500m women’s race at the Kip Keino Classic on Saturday afternoon.
In a tightly-contested race, the Ethiopia won in 4:06.42 ahead of Chebet (4:06.78) and Cherono (4:06.79).
“It was a tight race and I wouldn’t complain too much about the results. I do not normally compete in this race so a podium finish is not too bad,” Cherono said.
Cherono, who has grappled with injuries in the recent past, has set her sights on the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she plans to shift to her more familiar 5,000m race.
She also noted that the windy conditions might have hampered her performance.
Similarly, Chebet had no qualms about her performance describing it as an opportunity to test her fitness levels after an extended period of sporting inaction due to Covid-19.
“All the competitors gave their best and so a second-place finish is quite an achievement for me. After this event, I will take a break to strategise for the Olympics next year,” she said.
She added that her impressive performance is impetus for her in her quest to conquer the 1,500m women's race in Tokyo, Japan.