The 2023 Lausanne Diamond League meeting produced some amazing meeting records and world-leading performances. It helped create more excitement towards the upcoming World Championships as athletic fans now would want to see if the winners here will face any upsets in the upcoming global event. Some athletes used the meeting to try and get the Budapest qualifying standards. Those who already had the qualifications needed more Diamond League points to secure a place in the final in Eugene.
The men’s 5000m race, in particular, was scintillating to watch from the start to the finish. The first 1000m was crossed in 2:34.47, turning the field into a single file. Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi remained just behind the two pacesetters up to the 2000m point before taking over the fast pacing as they approached the 3000m mark.
Meanwhile, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei fought his way toward the front, overtaking Hagos Gebrhiwet, then Tilahun Bekele, before finding himself behind Aregawi with two laps to go. As they approached the bell, Cheptege tried to overtake, but Aregawi resisted and increased the pace. In a 55.68 second last lap, the two battled hard up to the last 40m when Cheptegei lost the battle. Aregawi registered a new meeting record, a world-leading time and a personal best time of 12:40.45. Cheptegei registered 12:41.61 for second, while Hagos Gebrhiwet was third in 12:49.80.
The women’s 800m brought together the two big stars ahead of the world championships: Kenya’s Mary Moraa and Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson met for the first time this year.
Moraa executed a tactical race. She took a vantage position on the inside lane after the pace setters dropped and waited for a perfect time to sprint on the home straight, winning the race in a new meeting record of 1:57.43. Hodgkinson was second in 1:58.37, with Jamaica’s Natoya Goule coming third in 1:58.90.
Another meeting record by another Kenyan followed in the women’s 3000m steeplechase race when Beatrice Chepkoech ran 9:05.98, Sembo Almayew was second in 9:06.82, and Uganda’s Peruth gets the Budapest qualification time of 9:11.91 in third.
The three runners had broken away from the rest of the field in the last stages of the race, with Chepkoech and Almayew exchanging the lead while Chumutai hung just behind the two as though with a sole aim to hitch a ride to her qualification time to the World Championships.
Beatrice Chepkoech takes a big, tactical win, photo by Matthew Quine, for Diamond League AG.
In a fast men’s 1500m race, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen set a new meeting record of 3:28.72 as he led two other runners to sub-3:30 performances. Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma, having a great season after setting the 3000m steeplechase world record, finished second in a new Ethiopian record of 3:29.51. Josh Kerr of Great Britain finished third in a new seasonal best time of 3:29.64.