Gudaf Tsegay wins the 1500m race in Xiamen (Image WA/ Matthew Quine)
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Ethiopia’s Gudaf, Lamecha Get their Diamond League Season to Winning Start

Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay and Lamecha Girma got their Diamond League season to a strong start in Xiamen, respectively winning the women’s 1500m and men’s 5000m on Saturday.

Gudaf produced a scentlizing performance to move to third on the world all-time list by powering to victory in 3:50.30, having passed 800m in 2:02 behind the pacemakers.

“It’s a surprise for me,” she said. “I knew I was in good shape in training, my mentality has changed. Competition for me is easy. Training is hard.”

The reigning world 10,000m champion will have a choice ahead about what events to run at the Paris Olympics.

“Which one? I don’t know,” she said. “I’ll see with my coach in training. Maybe three (events), maybe two.”

Gudaf was just over a second off Faith Kipyegon’s world record of 3:49.11. Might she take a crack at that later this summer?

“Why not break (it)?” she said. “I am training good, doing hard work, and my mentality has changed. I ran 3:50. I should break it.”

There was another Ethiopian win in the men’s 5000m where Lamecha, better known as a steeplechaser, in Xiamen.

Lemecha utilized his impressive speed to outkick Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkorir, winning in 12:58.96.

“I am very happy with the result. Great competition,” Lemecha said.

Kipkorir finished second in 12:59.78 and Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew was third in 13:00.47.