Caster Semenya Sub-4 for First Time, 17-Year-Old George Manangoi 3:35.53, Emmanuel Korir Wins at 2018 Doha Diamond League

May 4, 2018

The 2018 Diamond League season got underway in Doha, Qatar, on Friday night. We recap all the distance action, which was highlighted by the first sub-4:00 for Caster Semenya, 17-year-old George Manangoi running 3:35.53, and Emmanuel Korir getting another impressive win.

Caster Semenya Goes Sub-4 for the First Time in the First DL 1500 of Her Life

Semenya was dominant Semenya was dominant

In what, barring court action, will be Caster Semenya’s last season competing in the 800 and 1500 against women on the professional level without lowering her testosterone, Semenya started the Diamond League season superbly, powering away from the field the final 100m with ease to get her first sub-4:00 clocking and the win in 3:59.92.

Semenya looked comfortable in what, believe it or not, ws the first Diamond League 1500m race of her life. The pacing was erratic, starting out at 62.6 the first 400, then slowing to 2:11.05 before ramping back up to 3:14.35 at 1200 where Semenya was only in 5th. Semenya challenged for the lead on the backstretch and moved up on the shoulder of Nelly Jepkosgei around the final bend before hitting her turbo the final 100 to power away to the win by over a second in 3:59.92. Jepkosgei was a clear 2nd.

Article continues below player.

Impressive running for Semenya in her first DL 1500. Afterwards she was pleased, saying on the Olympic Channel broadcast, “The win is good. Breaking the 4 minutes magic is always a dream. We have achieved what we came here for.” But she also told reporters later, “I wanted to go faster, but had to slow down a little. It’s always been a dream to set the NR and continue to push beyond my PB, and I think we definitely achieved what we came here for.”

1500 Metres - Women 
    1 Semenya , Caster                 RSA    3:59.92          8
    2 Jepkosgei , Nelly                KEN    4:00.99          7
    3 Alemu , Habitam                  ETH    4:01.41          6
    4 Sado , Besu                      ETH    4:01.75          5
    5 Samuel , Alemaz                  ETH    4:01.78          4
    6 Tsegay , Gudaf                   ETH    4:01.81          3
    7 Arafi , Rababe                   MAR    4:03.69          2
    8 Kiyeng , Judith Jemutai          KEN    4:03.87          1
    9 Sum , Eunice Jepkoech            KEN    4:05.38           
   10 Chebet , Winny                   KEN    4:05.76           
   11 Hall , Linden                    AUS    4:07.07           
   12 Buckman , Zoe                    AUS    4:07.25           
      Akkaoui , Malika                 MAR        DNF           
      Tuei , Emily Cherotich           KEN        DNF           
      Yarigo , Noélie                  BEN        DNF           

Quick Take: How many DL’s can Semenya win in 2018?

There are six regular-season DL 800s this year and five 1500s. There is an overlap at two meets. Exclude those and that gives Semenya nine DL wins to go for. At $10,000 a pop, that’s $90,000. Plus there is $50,000 for the two DL finales. So all in all, she could win $190,000 in prize money this year. It’s unlikely she would try to win them all, but in a year without an Olympic or World Championships, she might decide, “Why not?”

Embed from Getty Images

Men’s 1500: 17-Year-Old George Manangoi Runs 3:35.53

This wasn’t a Diamond League event but 17-year-old George Manangoi made it exciting as he closed in 55.5 to finish 2nd in 3:35.53. That definitely deserves more than a mention considering last night another 17-year-old, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, closed in 55 to run 3:39 and got a lot of fanfare. World indoor 3000m medallist Bethwell Birgen was the only guy to go with the rabbits and he had a 20-meter or so lead with 400 to go (2:37.7), but the field would gain on him and pass him around the final bend.

That’s when Kenyan Charles Simotwo went to the front, but the lead changed multiple times in the final 200m as race winner Taresa Tolosa was only 5th with 200 to go but closed the best to win in 3:35.07. Even further back with 200 to go was World Youth champ Manangoi, brother of outdoor champion Elijah, who was in 8th. But he had a great final 50m to get a PB (previous best 3:36.20).

1500 Metres - Men 
    1 Tolosa , Taresa                  ETH    3:35.07           
    2 Manangoi , George Meitamei       KEN    3:35.53           
    3 Kiplagat , Justus Soget          KEN    3:35.71           
    4 Simotwo , Charles Cheboi         KEN    3:36.40           
    5 Birgen , Bethwell                KEN    3:36.54           
    6 Iguider , Abdelaati              MAR    3:36.59           
    7 Gregson , Ryan                   AUS    3:37.00           
    8 Cheboi , Collins                 KEN    3:37.83           
    9 Kibet , Vincent                  KEN    3:38.11           
   10 Williamsz , Jordan               AUS    3:40.06           
   11 Elkaam , Fouad                   MAR    3:40.91           
   12 Bellemore , Corey                CAN    3:41.34           
   13 Ali , Musaab Adam                QAT    3:41.90           
      Kivuva , Jackson Mumbwa          KEN        DNF           
      Rotich , Andrew Kiptoo           KEN        DNF

Quick Take: Manangoi’s Run Doesn’t Get Much Buzz

Manangoi’s run didn’t get a lot of talk on the forums. Some are suspicious of Kenyan 1500 runners in general right now with Asbel Kiprop testing positive. Others are unsure if Manangoi is really 17 with the history of age cheating in Kenya. Whatever the case, there is no discounting that he is looking like a future star in the sport considering his time today and the success of his brother.

George was pleased in his post-race interview saying, “I’m so grateful for hitting a new PB and to come in second place. This is a blessing to my life, and only helps me in my goal for 2018 to practice hard for the World Juniors. I’d also like to wish my brother luck; he’s running the 800m very soon. I’d like to thank my coach and my teammates for all of the support. I’m only here now because of them.”

So was his brother Elijah who got 2nd in the 800 (see below): “I feel good, I’m happy that my brother and I got second place! I told him before we went on the track that we would do well. I’m so proud of him! My goal for this year is to be able to follow in his footsteps and run the 1500m race.”

More17 yr Jakob Ingebrigtsen closes in 55, runs 3:39 & LRC goes nuts. 17 yr George Manangoi closes in 55, runs 3:35 and silence

Women’s 3000m: Jenny Simpson Comes Up Short of American Record as 1:05 Half Marathoner Caroline Kipkiuri Wins

Drug cheat Mary Slaney’s American record (8:25.83) lives another day as Jenny Simpson ran a respectable 8:30.83 for 4th in a race won by 1:05:04 half marathoner Caroline Kipkirui in 8:29.05.

The pace was out quick enough with 2:49 through the 1000 (2:50 is 8:30 pace) and then slowed to 5:42 at 2000. The field was bunching up with all 11 women in contention and Jenny Simpson decided she had had enough and took the lead with 2 laps to go.

Simpson lead on final lap Simpson lead on final lap

She was passed just before the 600m to go mark, but would regain it with 300m to go and hold it until Agnes Tirop went by her on the backstretch. Simpson was already falling back and then it looked like a stumble lost her even more momentum. Tirop lead down the homestretch until Kipkirui made a late charge for the win. Tirop’s drift out forced Kipkirui to finish in lane 3, but she still managed to win thanks to a 62.5 final lap.

3000 Metres - Women 
    1 Kipkirui , Caroline Chepkoech    KEN    8:29.05          8
    2 Tirop , Agnes Jebet              KEN    8:29.09          7
    3 Kiyeng , Hyvin                   KEN    8:30.51          6
    4 Simpson , Jennifer               USA    8:30.83          5
    5 Gidey , Letesenbet               ETH    8:30.96          4
    6 Rengeruk , Lilian Kasait         KEN    8:33.13          3
    7 Mamo , Meskerem                  ETH    8:33.63          2
    8 Degefa , Beyenu                  ETH    8:35.76          1
    9 Can , Yasemin                    TUR    8:36.24           
   10 Jeruto , Norah                   KEN    8:37.09           
   11 Tesfay , Fotyen                  ETH    8:47.73           
   12 McColgan , Eilish                GBR    8:48.03           
   13 Minsewo , Aberash                ETH    8:51.93           
   14 Obiri , Hellen                   KEN    8:53.65           
   15 Tuei , Sandrafelis Chebet        KEN    8:58.04           
   16 LaCaze , Genevieve               AUS    9:31.14           
      Kuria , Mary Wangari             KEN        DNF           
      Tverdostup , Tamara              UKR        DNF

Quick Take: What Range by Kipkirui

Kipkirui ran 1:05:04 for the half marathon at RAK this year, but the women’s half has become so deep that was only was good for 3rd place. Clearly this run shows she has good speed and impressive range, despite coming in with only an 8:51 3000 pb. She did run 14:27 on the track last year, but this run was more impressive.

QT: Subpar run for Hellen Obiri

Obiri was only 14th today as she faded badly over the last couple laps, but she did win the Commonwealth Games 5000 earlier this month so is in decent shape.

Embed from Getty Images

Men’s 800: 2017 World Leader Emmanuel Korir Holds Off 1500 World Champ Elijah Manangoi To Get The Win

It was a battle between speed and strength the final 100m of the men’s 800m, as World 1500m champ Elijah Manangoi tried to chase down 2017’s fastest 800m man Emmanuel Korir. But with a super slow start, it was all down to who could run a faster 200m and that was Korir as he crossed the line in 1:45.21 to Manangoi’s 1:45.60.

Kenya’s former world junior bronze medalist Nicholas Kipkoech made it a Kenyan sweep in third as World Indoor champion Adam Kszczot faded from first to fourth and Clayton Murphy finished sixth.

Blow by Blow

The race began like all too many elite distance races do, with the rabbit way out front and no one wanting to go with the pace. The pacer already had a big gap by 200m and it only grew from there as he came through the first lap in 51.76 with the pack trailing at around 53 seconds. Kszczot led the pack with Korir right on his shoulder and the field bunched up behind them. Murphy was towards the back on the rail.

After hitting the 600m mark in 1:20.24, Korir and Manangoi moved around Kszczot and started pumping for home while Kszczot tried to hold onto third. With 50m to go it looked like Manangoi might come back on Korir, but Korir found another gear to get the win by .39 of a second. Behind them, Kipkoech passed Kszczot to grab a distant third in 1:46.51 to Kszczot’s 1:46.70. Murphy was never relevant in the battle for the top spots, but did move up in the final straight to get sixth in 1:47.22.

800 Metres - Men 
    1 Korir , Emmanuel Kipkurui        KEN    1:45.21          8
    2 Manangoi , Elijah Motonei        KEN    1:45.60          7
    3 Kipkoech , Nicholas Kiplangat    KEN    1:46.51          6
    4 Kszczot , Adam                   POL    1:46.70          5
    5 Rotich , Ferguson Cheruiyot      KEN    1:46.76          4
    6 Murphy , Clayton                 USA    1:47.22          3
    7 Gakeme , Antoine                 BDI    1:47.25          2
    8 Hairane , Jamal                  QAT    1:47.62          1
    9 Alzofairi , Ebrahim              KUW    1:47.79           
   10 Bett , Kipyegon                  KEN    1:48.32           
      Som , Bram                       NED        DNF

Quick Take: Korir Reminds You Why He Was The Fastest Man In The World Last Year

Korir probably could have a couple of international medals to his name, but has been thwarted by bad luck in his two big championships since leaving the NCAA last year. After winning NCAAs, he went on to win the Kenyan World Champs Trials and the Monaco Diamond League. Things were looking promising until an injury hurt him at Worlds and he didn’t make the final.

Then during indoors this year, Korir ran the fastest indoor time in 17 years to win Millrose in 1:44.21, but visa issues kept from racing World Indoor Champs. Despite the setback, he’s obviously kept his good form and we’re looking forward to hopefully seeing a 100% Korir go up against guys like Michael Saruni and Donavan Brazier later this season.

Post-race, Korir said, “This is my first race of the season, so I am very happy with the performance! The audience was amazing, cheering for me, and it’s just great to see that support in the stadium. For 2018, my hope is to hit a new PB.”

QT: Elijah Manangoi Keeps Rolling After Starting His Season Early At The Commonwealth Games

Manangoi’s a 1500 specialist, but he looked at home in the shorter race stepping down today, making Korir work for it as he ran the third best 800m time of his career (and the best that wasn’t hand timed). Manangoi got his season started earlier than normal this year winning Commonwealth Games gold last month, but did no build-up races before that so he’s in a good place in what was his second race of the outdoor season.

QT #3: Clayton Murphy’s Sub Par Running Continues

This is Murphy’s second 800 of the outdoor season and it went almost exactly like the first. At Mt. SAC last month he went out in a slow 53.46 and finished with 1:47.22 for second. Today he was out in around 53 seconds and came home in the exact same finishing time of 1:47.22. Considering it’s been two weeks and this was a Diamond League race, we’re sure Murphy would have liked to run faster to show some progression. But on the positive side, he was closing hard at the end passing a couple of people in the final stretch rather than tying up and fading. Hopefully his next race doesn’t go out as slow for the first 400m and he can put up a better time.

Men’s Steeple: Chala Beyo Closes Best in Non-DL Event

When the rabbits have faster PRs than the field, you know something is a little off. The top pros weren’t in this one but Chala Beyo had a very good 60.1 close to get the comfortable win.

3000 Metres Steeplechase - Men 
    1 Beyo , Chala                     ETH    8:13.71           
    2 Kipsang , Lawrence Kemboi        KEN    8:15.07           
    3 Kiprono , Emmanuel               KEN    8:16.24           
    4 Kipyego , Barnabas               KEN    8:17.30           
    5 Deriba , Tesfaye                 ETH    8:17.51           
    6 Chemutai , Albert                UGA    8:18.80           
    7 Amare , Hailemariyam             ETH    8:21.21           
    8 Nurgi , Tolosa                   ETH    8:24.11           
    9 Tindouft , Mohamed               MAR    8:24.80           
   10 Lagat , Justus                   KEN    8:26.17           
   11 Kemboi , Clement Kimutai         KEN    8:31.02           
   12 Girma , Tesfaye                  ETH    8:38.70           
   13 Meyan , Cleophas Kandie          KEN    8:43.87           
   14 Saifeldin , Muhand Khamis        QAT    9:04.64           
      Nganga , Bernard Mbugua          KEN        DNF           
      Yego , Hillary Kipsang           KEN        DNF
Want More? Join The Supporters Club Today
Support independent journalism and get:
  • Exclusive Access to VIP Supporters Club Content
  • Bonus Podcasts Every Friday
  • Free Shirt (Annual Subscribers)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Enhanced Message Boards