Yomif Kejelcha wins the 5000m with a meeting record and world lead of 12:41.73. (Photo © Thomas Windestam / Diamond League AG)
Sport

Yomif Claims 5000m Victory as Birke Sets World U20 Mile Record in Oslo

Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha won the men’s 5000m while Birke Haylom set a women’s world U20 Mile record at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Oslo on Thursday night.

The men’s 5000m produced a captivating head-to-head clash between Yomif and Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo.

Both East African athletes had to dip for the line together after 12 and a half hard-fought laps, and both clocking 12:41.73.

Yomif got the verdict by three thousandths of a second, according to the sports governing body World Athletics (WA).

His time was a meeting record, world lead and PB. Back in third, Ethiopia’s Telahun Haile Bekele set a PB of 12:46.21.

“I expected the finish to be like this, a fight until the end, but I am glad I got it,” said Yomif.

“It was always my dream to win this event. Now, my next dream is Monaco, and then to become an Olympic champion one day.”

Meanwhile, the 17-year-old Birke won the Dream Mile, setting a world U20 record of 4:17.13.

She took 0.44 off Zola Budd’s previous mark of 4:17.57, set in 1985. Her time was also a world lead and meeting record.

Birke played a patient game behind the pacemakers as 800m was reached in 2:06.61 and 1200m in 3:10.89 before she unleashed a furious kick to dispatch her senior rivals.

She was followed home by USA’s Cory Ann McGee, who clocked a PB of 4:18.11, with Australia’s Jessica Hull setting an Oceanian record of 4:18.24 in third.