London 2017 Silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba defended her 800m world indoor title in emphatic fashion while also racing to a World Lead (WL) on the last day of the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championship being staged in Birmingham.
The Burundian who was racing in her second indoor championships, once again brushed aside Ajee Wilson after defeating her in Portland two years ago, to win in a time of 1:58.31.
Wilson on her part took Silver once again, but this time around, the American clocked a Personal Best (PB) of 1:58.99 as Great Britain’s Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (1:59.81) placed 3rd in the race.
After breaking the World U20 Indoor record just over a month ago, Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera proved to the world that his rising status has been no fluke as he clinched victory in the men’s 1500m final while clocking a time of 3:58.19.
In what was the slowest race ever in the history of the championships, Tefera, who represented Ethiopia at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 after winning the National Trials, was competing in the first indoor race of his burgeoning career.
But his youth and relative inexperience proved no barrier as he comfortably beat 2012 World Indoor Champion and 2015 World Bronze medallist, Abdelaati Iguider. Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski settled for 2nd place, with Iguider placing 3rd.
Another athlete who retained his crown was Yomif Kejelcha. Unlike his compatriot, the middle distance runner competed at the last Indoor Championships.
He once again proved to be head and shoulders ahead of the chasing pack as he claimed victory in a time of 8:14.41, inspiring a 1-2 for Ethiopia as compatriot Selemon Barega (8:15.59) came through in 2nd place. Kenya’s Bethwell Birgen (8:15.70) pipped Hagos Gebrhiwet to the 3rd spot, stopping a 1-2-3 finish for the Ethiopians.