Kejelcha sprints for home in Wanamaker Mile win, misses world record by .02

Leave a comment

Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha, a two-time indoor world champion in the mile, nearly broke the 22-year-old world record for the event, running the 112th NYRR Millrose Games’ Wanamaker Mile in a time of 3 minutes 48.46 seconds. He came up just .02 hundredths of a second short of setting a new world record.

Kejelcha broke his own world lead record which he set two weeks ago with a time of 3:51.70 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, just three seconds behind the world record (3:48.45) set by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj in March of 1997. 

Today, Kejelcha’s race was one against the clock, with his closest competitor, Kenya’s Edward Cheserek finishing more than five seconds back. The U.S.’ Clayton Murphy finished third.

Full results are here.

A scary scene unfolded in the men’s 3000m when Jamaican pace setter Kemoy Campbell collapsed onto the infield as he led the competitors around the track. Paramedics treated Campbell trackside, eventually moving him from The Armory on a stretcher. No official word of his condition was made available.

Campbell competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing 25th overall in the men’s 5000m.

WATCH LIVE: NYRR Millrose Games — Will Kejelcha break the mile record?

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Last  year’s Millrose Games saw Courtney Okolo and Ajee’ Wilson smash records. Can Yomif Kejelcha do the same on Saturday afternoon at the 112th NYRR Millrose Games during the Wanamaker Mile?

Kejelcha, a 21-year-old Ethiopian who is a two-time World Indoor Champ, excels at 3,000 and 5,000 meters. But he ran 3:51.70 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix two weeks ago. Three seconds faster and he’ll break a 22-year-old world record in the indoor mile.

Watch the coverage on NBC Sports Gold by clicking here. Watch the NBC coverage by clicking here.

But he’s far from the only highlight today.

Full press release of the event is below.

STAMFORD, Conn. – February 7, 2019 –  Live coverage of the 2019 USATF Indoor Championship Series continues with the historic 112th Millrose Games this Saturday, Feb. 9, starting at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold’s “Track and Field Pass” and at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC from The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights, New York.

The 112th Millrose Games is the third event in the 2019 USATF Indoor Championship Series and is the world’s longest-running indoor track and field competition. The event is highlighted by the running of the “Wanamaker Mile,” named after Rodman Wanamaker, the department store owner who created the Millrose Games in 1914.

Leigh Diffey will call the Millrose Games on NBC, joined by four-time Olympic medalist and analyst Ato Boldon, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, distance analyst Craig Masback, field events play-by-play reporter Paul Swangard, and track and field reporter Lewis Johnson.  

2016 Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and last year’s fastest mile-runner, Edward Cheserek, will headline the Wanamaker Mile for the men. Ethiopia’s two-time indoor world champion Yomif Kejelcha will also compete, with his sights on breaking the 22-year-old world record in the indoor mile (3:48.45).

U.S. Olympian and reigning Wanamaker Mile champion, Colleen Quigley, will compete alongside her training partner and last year’s runner-up Kate Grace in the women’s race.

In addition, Olympic gold medalist English Gardner will headline the 60m, and Olympic medalist Emma Coburn will compete in the women’s 3000m.

Highlighting the competition in the field events are American shot putters Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, who won gold and silver, respectively, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Coverage of the 2019 USATF Indoor Championship Series continues Saturday, Feb. 23 with the USATF Indoor Championships live at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold’s “Track and Field Pass.”

Christian Coleman edges Ronnie Baker, Noah Lyles in Rabat 100m

Leave a comment

Who is currently the world’s fastest man? Christian Coleman staked another claim Friday, but just barely.

Coleman won a Diamond League 100m in Rabat in 9.98 seconds, edging countrymen Ronnie Baker by .006 and Noah Lyles by .01 into a slight headwind. The field included the world’s four fastest men since the Rio Olympics — Coleman, Baker, Lyles and Mike Rodgers (fourth in 10.01).

Nobody has been faster since Rio than Coleman’s 9.82 last year. At 2017 Worlds, he finished between Justin Gatlin and Usain Bolt. Then last winter, he ran faster than the 60m world record three times.

But Coleman was beaten by Baker at consecutive May meets before taking all of June off from competition with a hamstring injury. Rabat marked his first race in 44 days.

“This is a relief, finally getting a win under my belt,” Coleman said. “I look at this as kind of my re-season opening. It’s the first time I came into a meet with full confidence in my leg.”

Lyles, the U.S. 100m champion in Coleman’s absence, nearly came from behind to steal the win. It’s no surprise as Lyles is known for his 200m prowess. He would have won a 105-meter race on Thursday.

Full Rabat results are here.

Christian Coleman

In other events, Olympic and world 800m champion Caster Semenya ran the fastest women’s 1000m in nearly 16 years, clocking 2:31.01 in the non-Olympic event.

World champion Mariya Lasitskene‘s 45-meet high-jump win streak ended as she finished third behind Bulgarian Mirela Demireva. Lasitskene’s last loss had been on June 23, 2016, according to Tilastopaja.org.

Kenyan Hellen Obiri beat a strong 5000m field in 14:21.75. Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan broke the European record for second place in 14:22.34, while U.S. Olympian Molly Huddle was 10th, one minute behind Obiri.

Olympic gold medalist Brianna McNeal won the 100m hurdles in 12.51, leading a U.S. sweep of the top four with Sharika Nelvis (12.58), Christina Manning (12.72) and Dawn Harper-Nelson (12.86). McNeal has the fastest time this year of 12.38. World-record holder Kendra Harrison was not in the field.

U.S. Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz faded to 10th in a 1500m won by Moroccan Brahim Kaazouzi in 3:33.22. Centrowitz clocked 3:35.17, the fastest time by an American this year by .88 of a second.

Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas won the 200m in 22.29 seconds, overtaking Brit Dina Asher-Smith. U.S. champion Jenna Prandini was third in 22.60, one tenth ahead of rising Harvard senior Gabby Thomas, who won the Lausanne Diamond League 200m on July 5. Nigerian Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor holds the fastest time in the world this year of 22.04.

Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha won the 3000m by 1.33 seconds in 7:32.93, eight days after he was disqualified from a 5000m for nearly pulling another runner down by his shorts in Lausanne. American Paul Chelimo, the Olympic 5000m silver medalist, was fourth.

World champion Sam Kendricks of the U.S. won the pole vault with a 5.86-meter clearance. Rival and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie was shockingly eighth with three fails at 5.60 meters.

The Diamond League moves to Monaco next Friday, with love coverage on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and NBC Sports Gold.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Olympic stars demand IAAF rescind testosterone rule