Zakayo, Jepkosgei and Kibet snatch victories in Rabat Diamond League

World Under-20 5000 metres champion Edward Zakayo shook off stiff opposition to win his speciality in 13:11.49  at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday.

Zakayo, who is also the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist over the same distance,  beat Ethiopia’s Berihu Solomon to second place in 13:16.08 as Morocco’s Bouqanter Souifyan completed the podium in 13:17.26.

In the women’s 800 metres, Nelly Jepkosgei continued her good form this season, winning the two-lap race in  1:59.50.

Ethiopia’s Alemu Habitam placed second in 1:59.90 as Olha Lyakhova of Ukraine finished a close third in  2:00.35. Another Kenyan Tuei Cherotich finished seventh in 2:01.67. 

Fresh from finishing second in Oslo in the Dream mile last week, Vincent Kibet strode home to victory in the 1,500m timed at 3:35.80.

Morocco’s Akankam Hicham was second in 3:35.85 while Frenchman  Mellet Alexis took the final podium position in 3:35.98. Michael Kibet finished seventh in 3:36.71 as Brimin Kiprono placed ninth in 3:37.20.

Kenyans struggled in their favourite 3000m steeplechase with Ben Kigen the best placed Kenyan in position three in 8: 07.25. Leonard Bett took the fourth position in 8:09.27 while Abraham Kibiwott clocked 8:17.25 for the seventh position. Another Kenyan Nicholas Bett finished tenth in 8: 24.69.

Ethiopia’s Wale Getnet too took honours by registering 8:06:01 with compatriot Beyo Chala finishing second in 8:06.48. Africa 800m silver medallist Emmanuel Korir had to settle for second place in their two-lap race as he hit the tape in 1:45.60. Ferguson Rotich finished fourth in 1:46.38 as Jonathan Kitilit placed seventh in 1:46.78.

Africa champion Nijel Amos took top honours by posting 1:45.57 while American  Clayton Murphy closed the top three places timed at 1:45.99. Africa 1,500m champion Winny Chebet finished a distant 13th clocking 4:13.31. Genzebe Dibaba topped the log in the event in 3:55.47 with Hassan Sifan of Netherlands placing second in 3:55.95. Tsegay Gudaf of Ethiopia was third in 3:57.40. 

Africa high jump champion Matthew Sawe took the fourth position in his speciality after covering 2:28 meters. Sawe lost on countback to winner Bohdan Bondareneko of Ukraine with Japan’s Tobe Naoto (second)  and Russia’s Illya Ivayuk  (third) also scoring the same jump.

Salwa Eid Naser held off Niger’s fast-finishing Aminatou Seyni challenge to win the women’s 400m in 50.13. The time was a season’s best for her which closed the gap on the world-leading time of 49.05 run by Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo. The 21-year-old Bahrain athlete, winner in Rome earlier this month, moved into a marginal lead at the halfway point and was never headed thereafter, although Seyni pushed her to the line, being rewarded with a national record of 50.24.