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Aregawi clocks fifth-fastest men’s 5,000 metres to win Diamond League meet

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (AP) – Berihu Aregawi ran the fifth-fastest men’s 5,000 metres in track history to beat Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei at the Athletissima meeting.

Aregawi raced clear of Cheptegei over the last two laps to win a compelling duel in 12 minutes, 40.45 seconds on Friday.

The 22-year-old Ethiopian, who was fourth in the 10,000 at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago, never let Cheptegei get too close on his shoulder and broke clear 50 metres from the finish.

Cheptegei set the world record of 12:35.36 three years ago. Track greats Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie are second and third on the all-time list.

With the top American and Jamaican sprinters at home for national trials ahead of the world championships in August, the men’s distance runners took centre stage on the latest stop on the Diamond League circuit.

Olympic 1,500-metre champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen eased to victory in 3:28.72, a meet record in Lausanne but more than seven-tenths of a second slower than his European record set on his home track in Oslo two weeks ago.

Berihu Aregawi. PHOTO: AFP

The storied Athletissima meet is known as a fast track but the sprint lineups lacked their usual depth on Friday with national championships taking priority before the August 19-27 worlds in Budapest, Hungary.

In the women’s 100, Marie-Josée Ta Lou – who was fourth at the past two Olympics – took advantage of the weakened starting field to extend her winning streak in June with victory in 10.88 seconds.

“The conditions weren’t ideal, it was cold for me,” the Ivory Coast sprinter said. “But I’m happy at least I ran under the 11 seconds barrier.”

Letsile Tebogo of Botswana won the men’s 200 in 20.01, with Olympic champion Andre de Grasse of Canada only coming sixth, clocking 20.57. Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won the women’s 100 hurdles in 12.40, 0.07 ahead of Tobi Amusan, the world record holder and 2022 world champion.

Ryan Crouser was one of the few Americans competing in Lausanne as he is directly qualified for Budapest as the reigning world champion in shot put.

Crouser’s winning throw of 22.29 metres on a cool evening was well down on his world record of 23.56 set in Los Angeles a month ago.

In the women’s pole vault, Katie Moon extended her world-leading mark this season by one centimetre to win with a leap of 4.82 metres.

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