It feels like home as Obiri powers to 3,000m victory
September 25 2020 11:46 PM
Kenya’s Hellen Obiri celebrates after setting a world leading time in the women’s 3,000 metres at the Doha Diamond League meeting at the Suheim bin Hamad Stadium yesterday, PICTURES: AFP, Ramchand, Shemeer Rashid and Noushad Thekkayil

Hellen Obiri had little trouble notching yet another memorable victory in Doha as the Kenyan topped the women’s 3,000m event with ease at the Doha Diamond League event at Qatar Sports Club yesterday.
Obiri, who won the 5,000m in a world-leading time of 14:22.12 in Monaco last month, also set a world leading time in the 3,000m yesterday, winning in 8:22.54.
Obiri had been training in Doha for a month in preparation for the final Diamond League event of the season in hopes of improving her personal best of 8:20.68 that she had set at the same venue in 2014.
The Qatari capital has worked for her on many occasions, including last year when she had won the same event in the Diamond League before winning the 5,000m world title.
Yesterday, she led a Kenyan sweep of top five with Agnes Tirop and Beatrice Chepkoech finishing second and third respectively. Margaret Kipkemboi and Hyvin Kiyeng rounded out the top five.
“Doha has become more like a second home to me as I’ve won so many races here including the World Championships last year. I love coming back to Doha again and again. I’ve had the opportunity of training in Doha for about a month in preparation for this event and I believe it has helped me to get in shape and acclimatised quite well,” Obiri said.
Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won the latest edition of her rivalry with multiple world medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, topping the women’s 100m sprint in 10.87 seconds.
After the Jamaican Thompson-Herah won the 200m in 2017, the Ivorian Ta Lou won the 100m in 2018. At last year’s Doha Worlds, Ta Lou was third in 100m, while Thompson-Herah, battling an injury, finished fourth.
Yesterday, Thompson-Herah finished just outside her world leading time of 10.85, while American Kayla White rounded out the top three in 11.25 seconds.
“It’s been wonderful been here in Doha and I want to thank the organisers for putting together such a great event,” Thompson-Herah said after the win. “I am happy to win but my major focus is to finish the year healthy. Preparations for the Olympics is the next on my agenda and it begins in earnest.”
Running 200m for the first time this season, there was little stopping Arthur Cisse of Ivory Coast, who eased to victory in a personal best of 20.23 seconds, shaving almost half a second off his previous mark. Jamaican Julian Forte ran a season’s best 20.39 for his second place, while Olympic bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre was third in 20.68 seconds.
Payton Chadwick of the US topped the women’s 100m hurdles ahead of compatriot Taliyah Brooks. While Chadwick ran a season’s best of 12.78 seconds, Brooks was second in a personal best mark of 12.86. Britain’s Cindy Ofili (13.02) was third.
Stewart McSweyn set the Australian national record in the men’s 1500m final to win the event for the first time at a Diamond League.
The 25-year-old won in a personal best time of 3:30.51 ahead of Ethiopian Selemon Barega (3:32.97) and Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali (3:33.45).
Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon stayed unbeaten in the short 2020 season so far winning the women’s 800m event in a world leading time of 1:57.68, also her personal best. She finished almost one and a half seconds ahead of second-placed Esther Guerrero (1:59.22), while Britain’s Adelle Tracey was third in 1:59.87.
“I wasn’t really expecting to win and that’s why I am very surprised not only with the win but with my record here tonight,” Kipyegon said after the win.
“The year has been a disturbing one for everyone… we can’t wait enough for 2021 to be here. I am going back home to celebrate with my husband and daughter, and after that start the preparation for next year and particularly for the Olympics.”
The 1,500m world champion Timothy Cheruiyot had chosen to step down in distance to 800m to test his speed endurance. However, that part of the plan didn’t work out well for the Kenyan.
Compatriot and world bronze medallist Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich ran a season’s best 1:44.16 to win the two lap race, edging out Britain’s Elliot Giles (1:44.56) for the win. Another Kenyan, Wyclife Kinyamal, was third in 1:45.68, while Cheruiyot finished eighth despite his season’s best 1:46.78.
Elsewhere, Aaron Mallet of the US won the men’s 110m hurdles, while Ukrainian Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk jumped a season’s best 6.91m for a win in the women’s long jump event.

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