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Kenyan stars flop in Birmingham Diamond League meet

It was a bad day in office for Kenyan athletes after they all lost their respective races at the Grand Prix Birmingham Diamond League on Sunday.

A strategic Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands waited until the last 80m before overtaking World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, who led at the bell to win and claim sweet revenge against the Kenyan in the women’s 3000m.

Hassan, who had to settle for bronze in 5,000m at the World Championships where Obiri won gold in a stunning performance, pulled from the inside lane behind Obiri before cruising to win in a Meet and national Record time of 8 minutes and 28.90 seconds.

Konstanze Klosterhalfen from Germany came in second, returning a national record of 8:29.89 as Kenya’s African Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo finished third in a personal best of 8:30.11. Chelimo finished fifth in 5,000m at the World Championships.

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Obiri, who was seeking her fourth victory in the Diamond League this season after victories Shanghai (5,000m), Rome (5,000m) and Monaco (3,000m), sunk to fourth in 8:30.21.

World Cross Country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait came in fifth in 8:33.79 while the 2014 World Cross Country champion Agnes Jebet, who won bronze in 10,000m at London’s World Championships, posted a personal best of 8:35.23 for eighth.

Obiri still leads the series with 24 points followed by Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey on 12 and Jebet nine.

Other Kenyans three-time World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, Winny Chebet and Davis Kiplangat, who also represented Kenya at the World Championships in London, failed the test in their respective races.

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Kiprop sunk to seventh in the men’s 800m in 1:46.05 in a race where Nijel Amos was a comfortable winner, almost a second ahead of World 800m silver medallist Adam Kszczot of Poland.

Amos was fifth in the World Championship final but wasn’t to be denied in Birmingham, crossing the finish line in 1:44.50, 0.78 ahead of Kszczot.

Kiprop, who failed to defend his World 1,500m title in London, is thinking of shifting gears to 5,000m.

Chebet, who fell in the semi-finals of her 1,500m in London, was short in her quest for her maiden Diamond League victory with Dawit Seyaum of Ethiopia emerging a clear winner in the women’s 1500m.

Seyaum’s time of 4:01.36 was almost a second better than Chebet in 4:02.24.

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Kiplangat was third in the men’s 3,000m in 7:40.63 as Mo Farah brought the curtain down on an illustrious track career in Britain in a typically dominant fashion.

Britain's Mo Farah celebrates winning the men's 3,000m during the 2017 IAAF Birmingham Diamond League athletics meeting at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on August 20, 2017. PHOTO | OLI SCARFF |

Britain’s Mo Farah celebrates winning the men’s 3,000m during the 2017 IAAF Birmingham Diamond League athletics meeting at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on August 20, 2017. PHOTO | OLI SCARFF |AFP

Eight days after winning gold over 10,000m – his tenth global title – and silver over 5000m, Farah was back to bid farewell to his home fans, winning in 7:38.64 with Adel Mechaal from Spain in second place in 7:40.34 followed by Kiplangat.

Thompson’s bitter rival Dafne Schippers finished down the field.

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