|Norah Jeruto with her sister Daisy Chepkemei after the Oslo Steeplechase race|
All the top four finishers in a thrilling and fast men’s 3000m race recorded their personal best times, with a world leading time and a national record being registered as well. What makes a middle and long distance track race very exciting is the building up towards a climax, the mind games being put to play by the athletes, the fluid movements of athletes in great shape, the gutsy decisions, etc. This race had all these and more. It was as though Joshua Cheptegei knew that Selemon Barega had a strong finishing kick and wanted to make it a long and hard run almost from the start. With about three laps to go, the whole field was already following in a single file with only Nicholas Kimeli and Barega managing to stick just behind him until the last lap.
Barega overtook Cheptegei in the last 200m and went ahead to win the race in a world leading a personal best time of 7:32.17. Cheptegei’s time of 7:33.26 was also a personal best time; same to Kimeli’s 7:34.85 ahead of Henrik Ingebrightsen who treated his home fans to a new national record of 7:37.37.
With their brother, Henrik , having already done some amazing work in breaking a 18 year old national record in the men’s 3000m event, the expectations by the home ground fans to see some more great achievements in the men’s Dream mile were not met. Jacob finished 6th while Filip finished 9th. The race had a surprise winner ; Marcin Lewandowski who won it in a world leading and his national record time of 3:52.34 after edging Vincent Kibet who finished second in 3:52.38 just at the finish line. Ayanleh Souleyman finished third in 3:52.66.
In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, Norah Jeruto beat the world record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech in a world leading and meeting record time of 9:03.71. It was a clear race between the two of them with about two laps to go as Chepkoech pushed the pace while Jeruto hung behind her. With less than 50m to go, she was able to overtake Chepkoech in a fierce battle for victory. Chepkoech was second in 9:04.30 with Hyvin Kiyeng following to take third in 9:07.56. Emma Coburn finished fourth while Jeruto’s sister, Daisy Chepkemei finished 5th.