Farah, Bartoletta, Kovacs Star At Prefontaine Classic: Day 1

Mo Farah of Great Britain celebrates: Prefontaine Classic

EUGENE (Sporting Alert) — Mo Farah, Tianna Bartoletta and Joe Kovacs dominated their respective events at the IAAF 2015 Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene on Friday night.

World and Olympic champion Farah toyed with, and then out-sprinted his challenger in the final 100m en route to clocking a world-leading 26:50.97, as two others raced across the finishing line at Hayward Field under 27-minutes as well.

Despite sealing the win and extended his winning streak in the event, which started in 2011, the Great Britain star was visibly a tad unhappy with his final time, as his goal was to better his 26:46.57 European record, which he set in Eugene four-years-ago.

“My aim was definitely to run a little faster,” Farah revealed on the “Distance Night.”

“Training has been going pretty well so you know it’s one of those things where you might as well go for it, it’s still early on.

“We didn’t have a pacemaker after 5K, we had to work for it ourselves.”

Farah entered the home straight with Paul Tanui, the previous 2015 world-leader and reigning world cross-country champion and world half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor well on his shoulders.

However, his superior foot-speed saw him raced away from the Kenyan pair in the final 70-meters for the victory.

“We wanted to run a fast time and then try to win the race after that,” Farah added.

Tanui set a seasonal best of 26:51.86 for second place, while Kamworor broke the 27-minute barrier for the first time on track on his way to setting a new personal best of 26:52.65 for third.

It was a happy hunting ground too for one of Farah’s training partners, Cameron Levins, as he achieved a new personal best and Canadian national record of 27:07.51 for fourth place.

Earlier, the men’s 5000m didn’t go according to the script, as 2014 IAAF World Junior champion Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia timed his kick to perfection to upset both American Galen Rupp and Kenyan Edwin Soi.

Kejelcha, 17, followed the leaders closely until the final 300m where he sprinted away and opened up a huge gap, en route to posting a personal best of 13:10.54 to cause the shocking surprise.

Directly following home the lanky teenager was Soi, who covered the opening 3k in 7:59.51, before ending with a time of 13:11.97.

Rupp, who was clearly searching for leg speed, was third in 13:12.36. Fellow American and veteran Bernard Lagat finished fourth in 13:14.97.

In the women’s long jump, USA’s Tianna Bartoletta produced a massive leap of 7.11m* but reports from USATF claim the mark was done in a +2.5 m/s wind, which would be over the legal limit for her to improve on her world-leading mark for the season.

The 2005 world outdoor champion and 2006 world indoor gold medal winner, took command of the event in the third round after trailing Canadian Christabel Nettey and Great Britain’s Lorraine Ugen in the opening two attempts.

Nettey set a new national record of 6.99m (pending the wind-reading) to earn second place with her final jump – improving her pervious mark by one-centimeter, while Ugen, who had led the event leading up to the third round slipped to third with a mark of 6.89m.

World and Olympic champion Brittney Reese of USA was fifth with a leap of 6.69m.

In the men’s Shot Put, Joe Kovacs was once again the headliner, as the American, with his final throw, heaved the iron ball to 22.12m – his third mark over 22m this season – to fend off Germany’s David Storl.

Storl took second with a seasonal best of 21.92m with USA’s Ryan Whiting also setting a new season’s best of 21.37m for third.

Also on the Prefontaine Classic “Distance Night” USA’s Maggie Vessey took the women’s USATF High Performance 800 meters in 2:00.07, while Ryen Frazier (4:39.84) and Carlos Villareal (4:05.25) won the Nike High School Elite Mile races.

The IAAF 2015 Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting continues on Day Two on Saturday with another packed schedule that will be broadcast and streamed live.

Live broadcasting coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT on NBCSN before the action switching over to NBC at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.