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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

Report18 Jun 2016

Van Niekerk and Gebremeskel shine in Boston


Wayde van Niekerk wins the 400m (© AFP / Getty Images)

Wayde van Niekerk and Dejen Gebremeskel provided the highlights of the first day of the Adidas Boost Boston Games on Friday evening (17).

Van Niekerk, who has recently been training in Jamaica with Usain Bolt, was an impressive winner over one lap of the track at the Dilboy Stadium, South Africa’s world champion winning in 44.28.

Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago was second in 44.87 with USA’s David Verburg third in 44.98.

Van Niekerk will now return home and compete over 200m at the African Championships in Durban next week.

Gebremeskel came out on top of an exciting head-to-head duel in the 5000m with his Ethiopian compatriot Hagos Gebrhiwet, the pair pulling well clear of the small field from the halfway point in the race.

Gebrhiwet led at the bell but the Olympic silver medallist unleashed a 57.48 last lap to cross the line in 12:59.89, the second-fastest time in the world this year, with Gebrhiwet second in 13:00.20.

USA’s Francena McCorory produced the best performance of the women’s events when she took the 400m in 50.46, winning by more than a second.

The women’s 800m was much more competitive and saw world indoor silver medallist Ajee’ Wilson and Molly Ludlow go under two minutes outdoors for the first time this season.

Wilson hit the front in familiar fashion just before the bell, going through in 59.44, and stayed in front through to the line, winning in 1:59.72.

Ludlow, fourth at the bell, came down the home strongly and started to chase Wilson hard but couldn’t quite reel her in, finishing second in 1:59.93.

Ethiopia’s multiple global championship gold medallist Meseret Defar had her first outdoor track race since 2013 and was a comfortable winner of the 5000m in 15:06.96, winning by more than six seconds, while Kenya’s Collins Cheboi won the men’s 1500m in 3:35.82.

In the younger age group, 16-year-old Kate Murphy won the girls' 1500m in 4:07.21, the fastest U18 time in the world this year, and she moves up to 13th place on the world U18 all-time list.

In what turned out to be a time trial after taking the lead just after the gun, Murphy took more than 10 seconds off her previous best.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF