Oslo DL — Gebrhiwet Finish Scares 5000 WR

The 5K was surprisingly fast but Jakob Ingebrigtsen went to the mat for his home fans in the 1500. (JIRO MOCHIZUKI/AGENCE SHOT)

OSLO, NORWAY, May 30 — Light rain didn’t keep the audience in sold-out Bislett Stadium from witnessing impressive displays of pre-Olympic fitness, prime among them the No. 2 ever run at 5000 and thrilling battles over the 400H (local fans not so happy) and the event-concluding 1500 (local fans thrilled).

The 5000 started off ambitiously, with the pacing lights set at a 12:41 clip. Yomif Kejelcha led a crew of top names right behind the rabbits, as they hit the first kilometer in 2:33.13 and the second in 5:07.05 (2:33.92). As they passed 3000 in 7:41.05, Kejelcha led his countryman Hagos Gebrhiwet with Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo close. By that point, WR holder Joshua Cheptegei had already lost touch with the lead group, as had Guatemala’s Luis Grijalva.

Kejelcha, 26, burned through the next kilo in 2:30.81, but was unable to shake Gebrhiwet. A lap later he looked over his shoulder; his countryman was still there. Finally near the end of the penultimate lap (a 59.62 that left the pacing lights behind), Gebrhiwet shot to the lead and instantly put a gap on Kejelcha. It never got closer. The 30-year-old road 5K world champion, who hasn’t scored a medal on the track in 8 years, blistered the final circuit in 54.99 to cross the line in 12:36.73, missing Cheptegei’s WR by just 1.37.

Behind him, Kejelcha held on for a PR 12:38.95 (No. 4 ever), and Kiplimo closed in a PR 12:40.96 (No. 8). In a parade of speed, 13 in total broke 13:00, with 6 national records falling and best-ever-marks for places 2–3 and 7–13.

In classic Ethiopian understatement, perhaps compounded by the translation, Gebrhiwet said, “The time I achieved is very nice… The conditions, the crowd were great and it was a very fast race, not easy for me but it went going very well.”

The crowd, many of them festooned in Norwegian red, white & blue, eagerly anticipated the first 400H race of the year for national hero Karsten Warholm. It was clear he would have his hands full, with ’22 world champion Alison dos Santos already having run sub-47.

Warholm started in 7, Dos Santos in 5, with Kyron McMaster in between. As expected, Warholm got out like lightning, but the shocking part was that the Brazilian pulled even by hurdle 5. Over the turn Warholm edged slightly ahead, but dos Santos came back, passing him at the final hurdle while the Norwegian struck the barrier. With momentum on his side, dos Santos charged to a 46.63 world leader. Warholm sprinted hard for a different outcome, crossing just behind in 46.70.

“It was a tough race,” said dos Santos, “but I wanted to show I am here, I am ready and in good shape and that I can go even faster.”

Said Warholm, “I am happy with the race but of course I always come to win so there is no way around that.”

The 1500 was another big one for the locals, as Jakob Ingebrigtsen stepped to the line just 5 days after his loss in Eugene to Josh Kerr. Here, with the Scotsman absent, the race was set up to be a showcase for the Olympic champion. He lagged behind the rabbits a bit when they took the 400 in 54.90, though perhaps he was more tuned to the lights, where he was right on. With ’19 world champ Timothy Cheruiyot in tow, he got behind the pacers for a 1:51.45 at 800, then took over at 1000. He ran the next 400 powerfully, passing 1200 in 2:48.43 and on the last turn appeared to be forging a decisive margin.

Even on the straightaway, Cheruiyot did not seem to have the speed to be a threat, but with 50 left the Kenyan suddenly sprinted and in the final inches appeared to be ahead. Ingebrigtsen felt him coming, and dove across the line for a 0.03 victory (3:29.74-3:29.77) that sent the crowd home jubilant after this final event. Behind the world-leading performance, France’s Azeddine Habz took 3rd in 3:30.80.

Said the winner, “I really don’t think it was a decision I made to dive into the finish line because everything just happened so fast. But I can tell you that it was a sprint-off. It was a good race. I felt stronger than last time.”

In other notable events, Matthew Hudson-Smith ran aggressively from the start of the 400 and no one challenged him as he came home in a European Record 44.07. Kirani James finished well behind with his 44.58, American Vernon Norwood 3rd in 44.68.

Hudson-Smith’s ER dislodged a recordholder of long standing, Thomas Schönlebe, whose 44.33 won the East German World Championships gold way back in ’87.

In the 100, Britain’s Jeremiah Azu started best and led at 50, but something tweaked and he jogged in, leaving the win to South Africa’s Akani Simbine at 9.94. Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finished well for a 9.99 from lane 8.

On the field, the titans of the discus met and battled, Mykolas Alekna coming out on top with his round 2 heave of 232-7 (70.91). Australia’s Matthew Denny had the best response at 221-2 (67.41), while defending world and Olympic champion Daniel Ståhl hit 219-2 (66.80) and Kristjan Čeh was 5th at 213-8 (65.12).

In a men’s vault field where 6 cleared 18-9¼ (5.72), only KC Lightfoot mastered the next bar with a smooth clearance over 19-1 (5.82). Greece’s Emmanouíl Karalís tied for 2nd with EJ Obiena of the Philippines, and Sam Kendricks was 4th.

The triple jump featured a tense contest between Hugues Fabrice Zango and former Texas A&M Aggie Yasser Triki of Algeria. Zango, the reigning world champ indoors and out, led for the first two rounds with his 55-8½ (16.98). Then Triki popped a 55-9¼ (17.00) in round 3. Zango responded in 4 with a powerful 56-8 (17.27). They both fouled in round 5. In round 6, it was Triki who got the fair jump, landing at 56-7¼ (17.25), just short of the upset.

The best race on the clock for the women was undoubtedly the 3000. With only 3 Africans in the field it looked quite different than most DL distance races. That took nothing away from its quality. Australian Jessica Hull, just 5 days removed from her 2nd-place 1500 finish at the Pre Classic, took off with 500 left, after the rabbits and lights had delivered kilometer splits of 2:50.34 and 5:40.73 aimed right at 8:30 pace. She charged hard into the final lap but was unable to lose Ethiopian Likina Amebaw or fellow Australian Georgia Griffith. On the last turn, Griffith flew by en route to a 61.60 final lap. She broke the meet record with her Australian Record 8:24.20. Amebaw closed well with a PR 8:24.29, and Hull held on for an 8:25.82. She was the only one of the first 12 who did not run a PR.

Explained Griffith, “I’m still quite new to 3000m, I do a lot of 1500m’s so I usually kick too soon and I kind of die in the last 50m, but today, I really tried to hold back until the last 100m and I got lucky with my kick today and finished strong.”

In the 200, Brittany Brown upset the formcharts. Running in lane 8 a few days after finishing last in the Pre 100, the Iowa alum sprinted 22.32 into a slight wind to outrun Marie-Josée Ta Lou-Smith (22.36) and Britain’s Darryl Neita (22.40) in a fast close. Perhaps just as notable was that 4th-placer Anavia Battle beat World champion Shericka Jackson to the line, 22.84–22.97.

The 400 seemed close to even most of the way through the final turn, when Marileidy Paulino charged away from the crowd to finish in an outdoor-leading 49.30, ahead of Poland’s Natalia Karczmarek (49.80) and American Alexis Holmes (50.40).

Another impressive display by South Africa’s Prudence Sekgodiso highlighted the 800. She took over with a big move at 500, though Jamaica’s Natoya Goule-Toppin ate into it a little with her homestretch sprint. Sekgodiso stayed ahead, 1:58.66–1:59.10.

The 400 hurdles produced a Jamaican sweep. Rushell Clayton and Andrenette Knight battled most of the way, but Clayton pulled away over the last three hurdles to win, 54.02–54.63, with Janieve Russell next in 55.07.

In the only women’s field event, China’s Bin Feng threw the discus 222-9 (67.89) in round 2 before fouling all her remaining tries. Two-time Olympic champion Sandra Elkasević of Croatia took 2nd at 218-1 (66.48).


100(0.4): 1. Akani Simbine (SA) 9.94; 2. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Jpn) 9.99; 3. Emmanuel Eseme (Cam) 10.01; 4. Lamont Marcell Jacobs (Ita) 10.03; 5. Brandon Hicklin (US) 10.05; 6. Rohan Watson (Jam) 10.23; 7. Yohan Blake (Jam) 10.29.

400: 1. Matthew Hudson-Smith (GB) 44.07 NR; 2. Kirani James (Grn) 44.58; 3. Vernon Norwood (US) 44.68; 4. Leungo Scotch (Bot) 45.02; 5. Quincy Hall (US) 45.02; 6. Lythe Pillay (SA) 45.34; 7. Håvard Bentdal Ingvaldsen (Nor) 45.41.

1500: 1. Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Nor) 3:29.74 (WL) (2:48.43);

2. Timothy Cheruiyot (Ken) 3:29.77; 3. Azeddine Habz (Fra) 3:30.80; 4. Isaac Nader (Por) 3:30.84 PR; 5. Elliot Giles (GB) 3:31.06; 6. Olli Hoare (Aus) 3:31.08; 7. George Mills (GB) 3:31.57; 8. Pietro Arese (Ita) 3:32.13 NR; 9. Robert Farken (Ger) 3:32.20; 10. Andrew Coscoran (Ire) 3:32.68; 11. Adel Mechaal (Spa) 3:33.21; 12. Ryan Mphahlele (SA) 3:33.85; 13. Narve Gilje Nordås (Nor) 3:34.86; 14. Stewart McSweyn (Aus) 3:38.22;… rabbit—Zan Rudolf (Slo) (54.90, 56.55 [1:51.45]).

5000: 1. Hagos Gebrhiwet (Eth) 12:36.73 NR (WL) (2, 2 W); 2. Yomif Kejelcha (Eth) 12:38.95 PR (10:11.86) (4, 4 W); 3. Jacob Kiplimo (Uga) 12:40.96 PR (8, 9 W);

4. Thierry Ndikumwenayo (Spa) 12:48.10 PR; 5. Addisu Yihune (Eth) 12:49.65 PR (5:07.05, 7:41.05); 6. Luis Grijalva (Gua) 12:50.58 NR; 7. Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu (Swi) 12:50.90 NR; 8. Andreas Almgren (Swe) 12:50.94 NR; 9. Joshua Cheptegei (Uga) 12:51.94; 10. Oscar Chelimo (Uga) 12:54.59 PR; 11. Jimmy Gressier (Fra) 12:54.97 NR; 12. Samuel Tefera (Eth) 12:55.78 PR; 13. Adrian Wildschutt (SA) 12:56.67 NR.

(best-ever mark-for-place: 2–3, 7–13)

400H: 1. Alison dos Santos (Bra) 46.63 (WL) (x, 9 W);

2. Karsten Warholm (Nor) 46.70; 3. Kyron McMaster (BVI) 48.49; 4. Rasmus Mägi (Est) 48.56; 5. Joshua Abuaku (Ger) 49.37; 6. CJ Allen (US) 49.42.

Field Events

PV: 1. KC Lightfoot (US) 19-1 (5.82) (17-9¼, 18-5¼, 18-9¼, 19-1, 19-4¼ [xxx]) (5.42, 5.62, 5.72, 5.82, 5.90 [xxx]); 2. tie, Emmanouíl Karalís (Gre) & EJ Obiena (Phi) 18-9¼ (5.72); 4. Sam Kendricks (US) 18-9¼; 5. Bo Kanda Lita Baehre (Ger) 18-9¼; 6. Menno Vloon (Neth) 18-9¼; 7. Chris Nilsen (US) 18-5¼ (5.62); 8. Simen Guttormsen (Nor) 18-1¼ (5.52).

TJ: 1. Hugues Fabrice Zango (Bur) 56-8 (17.27); 2. Yasser Triki (Alg) 56-7¼ (17.25); 3. Lázaro Martínez (Cub) 55-3½ (16.85); 4. Jean-Marc Pontvianne (Fra) 54-5¼ (16.59); 5. Tiago Pereira (Por) 54-2 (16.51); 6. Almir dos Santos (Bra) 53-10¼ (16.41); 7. Christian Taylor (US) 52-11½ (16.14).

DT: 1. Mykolas Alekna (Lit) 232-7 (70.91) (213-2, 232-7, f, 213-8, p) (64.98, 70.91, f, 65.14, p); 2. Matt Denny (Aus) 221-10 (67.61); 3. Daniel Ståhl (Swe) 219-2 (66.80); 4. Lukas Weißhaidinger (Aut) 215-6 (65.68); 5. Kristjan Čeh (Slo) 213-8 (65.12); 6. Fedrick Dacres (Jam) 213-5 (65.06); 7. Andrius Gudžius (Lit) 208-10 (63.65);… 3f—Simon Pettersson (Swe).


200(-0.2): 1. Brittany Brown (US) 22.32; 2. Marie Josée Ta Lou-Smith (CI) 22.36; 3. Daryll Neita (GB) 22.50; 4. Anavia Battle (US) 22.84; 5. Shericka Jackson (Jam) 22.97; 6. Jenna Prandini (US) 23.10.

400: 1. Marileidy Paulino (DR) 49.30 (WL);

2. Natalia Kaczmarek (Pol) 49.80; 3. Alexis Holmes (US) 50.40; 4. Lieke Klaver (Neth) 50.62; 5. Sada Williams (Bar) 50.71; 6. Henriette Jæger (Nor) 50.81 NR; 7. Laviai Nielsen (GB) 51.04; 8. Victoria Ohuruogu (GB) 51.61.

800: 1. Prudence Sekgodiso (SA) 1:58.66; 2. Natoya Goule-Toppin (Jam) 1:59.10; 3. Catriona Bisset (Aus) 1:59.29; 4. Elena Bellò (Ita) 2:00.05; 5. Anita Horvat (Slo) 2:00.32; 6. Eveliina Määttänen (Fin) 2:00.89; 7. Tsige Duguma (Eth) 2:01.31; 8. Gabriela Gajanová (Svk) 2:02.00; 9. Noélie Yarigo (Ben) 2:02.30;… rabbit—Agata Kolakowska (Pol) (56.19).

3000: 1. Georgia Griffith (Aus) 8:24.20 NR (out WL); 2. Likina Amebaw (Eth) 8:24.29 PR; 3. Jessica Hull (Aus) 8:25.82 PR; 4. Maureen Koster (Neth) 8:26.30 PR; 5. Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal (Nor) 8:27.02 NR; 6. Marta García (Spa) 8:29.32 PR; 7. Caroline Nyaga (Ken) 8:30.99 PR (5:40.73); 8. Nathalie Blomqvist (Fin) 8:32.23 NR; 9. Kassie Wubrist (Eth) 8:33.65 PR; 10. Nozomi Tanaka (Jpn) 8:34.09 NR.

400H: 1. Rushell Clayton (Jam) 54.02; 2. Andrenette Knight (Jam) 54.63; 3. Janieve Russell (Jam) 55.07; 4. Amalie Hammild Iuel (Nor) 55.50; 5. Jessie Knight (GB) 55.52; 6. Anna Ryzhykova (Ukr) 55.58; 7. Ayomide Folorunso (Ita) 56.06.

Field Event

DT: 1. Bin Feng (Chn) 222-9 (67.89); 2. Sandra Elkasević (Cro) 218-1 (66.48); 3. Daisy Osakue (Ita) 207-7 (63.29); 4. Jorinde van Klinken (Neth) 207-3 (63.16); 5. Liliana Cá (Por) 205-8 (62.69); 6. Claudine Vita (Ger) 202-4 (61.69); 7. Mélina Robert-Michon (Fra) 202-0 (61.57); 8. Shanice Craft (Ger) 197-8 (60.24).