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Timothy Cheruiyot pays glowing tribute to key rival after tight Diamond League duel

Friday, May 31st, 2024 10:04 | By
Jakob Ingebrigtsen crosses the finishing line with a 1500m world lead to hold off Timothy Cheruiyot.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen crosses the finishing line with a 1500m world lead to hold off Timothy Cheruiyot. PHOTO/World Athletics

Kenya's 1500m star Timothy Cheruiyot has paid a glowing tribute to his key rival Jakob Ingebrigtsen who defeated him in the Diamond League Oslo series on May 30, 2024.

Cheruiyot came in second as the Norwegian, enjoying home advantage (timed 3:29.74) and becoming the fastest this year, perhaps a morale-boosting performance ahead of the Olympic Games.

Cheruiyot said it was good to run against the Olympic champion and that he was satisfied with his own performance. Cheruiyot came in close second at 3:29.77.

“Racing with my compatriot, Jakob, makes me happy; he's a strong guy, and he finished fast today. I'm glad to be here in Oslo for the second time; the track is amazing.

“I was expecting the win, but I'm satisfied I managed to run under 3:30 today. Now, I'm going home to prepare for the Kenyan trials; I need to finish in the top three," Cheruiyot said after the Thursday night run.

This was an encouraging performance by the 29-year-old, who recovered and returned to action after being injured.

“For the last nine months, I've been injured, so I need to focus on training more to improve my fitness ahead of Paris, where I hope to get another medal for my country," he added.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen leads Timothy Cheruiyot in Oslo. PHOTO/@Diamond_League/X
Jakob Ingebrigtsen leads Timothy Cheruiyot in Oslo. PHOTO/@Diamond_League/X

How it went down

Meanwhile, Ingebrigtsen produced a top-level performance as he was made to dive for the line to ensure a home victory for the Norwegian fans.

He controlled the pace in the second half, but still, Cheruiyot, the 2019 champion, was a strong challenger.

The Kenyan challenged the Norwegian down the home straight and appeared to have timed his kick to perfection, but Ingebrigtsen collapsed over the line to get the verdict in a world-leading 3:29.74, 0.03 ahead of Cheruiyot.

In a previous race, Ingebrigtsen defeated Cheruiyot in the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, clocking 3:28.32 to Cheruiyot's 3:29.01, and another match-up is expected in Paris.

Recently, Cheruiyot finished fourth in the 1,500m at the National Championships, in 3:40.23, after Boaz Kiprugut (3:39.23), Josephat Sang (3:38.74), and Brain Komen (3:37.91).

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