Selemon Barega dominates the 5000m showdown in Los Angeles (Image © World Athletics)
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Selemon Runs World Lead to Win 5000m in Los Angeles

Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega emerged victorious in the 5000m showdown at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix on Friday evening.

The World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting saw 12 men ran under the Olympic 5000m standard of 13:05.

Solomon, Tokyo Olympics 10000m gold medallist, powered to a world-leading 12:51.60 to win the competition. He closed the final 400m in 54.15, the fastest lap of anyone in the field, to edge his compatriot Berihu Aregawi, in 12:52.09. Both Ethiopians had already achieved the Olympic standard before before Friday.

Uganda’s three-time world champion and record holder Joshua Cheptegei finished third in 12:52.38 in his season opener. His compatriot Jacob Kiplimo was fourth in 12:52.91.

Cheptegei, Tokyo Olympics champion, was among six athletes who achieved the standard in the race. The list also includes Ethiopia’s 17-year-old Biniam Mehary who came in sixth in 12:54.10 behind USA’s Grant Fisher (12:53:30).

Diribe Impresses in 1500m Win

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji dominated the women’s 1500m to take the final crown of the day at the continental Tour Gold in LA. Diribe won the showdown in a season’s best of 3:55.23, leading four women under four minutes.

The day’s smallest margin of victory belonged to Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda, who won the women’s 800m in 1:57.56, only six-thousands of a second ahead of Tsige Duguma of Ethiopia, per WA.