Men’s 3000: Yomif Kejelcha runs the fastest time outdoors since 2007

Men’s 3000: Yomif Kejelcha runs the fastest time outdoors since 2007

There has been plenty of talk the last two years about the amount of emergent talent in the distance events on the track, including Norway’s 
Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ugandans Jacob Kiplimo and Joshua Cheptegei running crazy times and smashing records. Over the course of  3,000 meters this evening, Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha sent a reminder: I’m still here.

Kejelcha dominated the field tonight to win in a Diamond League record of 7:26.25, moving to #7 on the all-time outdoor list. It was the fastest time outdoors since Kenenisa Bekele ran 7:25.79 in 2007 (though Getnet Wale did run 7:24.98 indoors in February). The win was Kejelcha’s seventh on the DL circuit.

Yomif Kejelcha
Yomif Kejelcha (Ethiopia 🇪🇹) smashes compatriot Haile Gebreselassie’s 3000m @BislettGames meeting record by 1.17 seconds.

Pacer Vincent Kibet took the field through 1600 meters in 4:02 (7:33 pace) — quick, but not quick enough for Kejelcha, who assumed the lead and dropped a 58.44 lap from 1800 to 2200 to string out the field with only Jacob Krop (fourth in the Kenyan Olympic trials in the 5000) strong enough to hold on. Kenyan 5k trials champ Nicholas Kimeli was third, 20 meters back.

Kejelcha dropped a 58.40 on the penultimate lap, and Krop was struggling to hang on now; on the back straight, Kejelcha, gritting his teeth, would push even harder and eventually break Krop, dropping s 56-second lap to close out a superb 2:23.88 final kilometer and earn the win.

Behind him, Krop ran 7:30.07 and Kimeli 7:31.33 as the top eight men all broke 7:40 and set personal bests.


1 Yomif Kejelcha ETH 1 Aug 97 7:26.25 WL PB »
2 Jacob Krop KEN 4 Jun 01 7:30.07 PB »
3 Nicholas Kimeli KEN 29 Sep 98 7:31.33 PB »
4 Birhanu Yemataw BRN 27 Feb 96 7:33.05 PB »
5 Filip Ingebrigtsen NOR 20 Apr 93 7:34.00 PB »
6 Justus Soget KEN 22 Oct 99 7:35.91 PB »
7 Tadese Worku ETH 20 Jan 02 7:37.48 PB »
8 David McNeill AUS 6 Oct 86 7:39.43 PB »
9 Michael Kibet KEN 3 Sep 99 7:43.46 SB «
10 Kieran Lumb CAN 2 Aug 98 7:46.28 PB »
11 Bethwel Birgen KEN 6 Aug 88 7:46.84 SB «
12 Zerei Kbrom NOR 12 Jan 86 7:47.16 PB »
Vincent Kibet KEN 6 May 91 DNF « »
Jerry Motsau RSA 12 Mar 90 DNF « »

Quick Take: Kejelcha’s set of personal bests is truly impressive

Kejelcha’s pbs from the mile to 10,000 are unprecedented; no one has ever run as fast as Kejelcha in the mile (3:47.01, a world indoor record) and the 10,000 (26:49.34) (although to be fair Mo Farah’s 1500 pb equates to a 3:45 mile and he’s run 26:46 for 10,000). Add in 7:26.25 for 3000 (#7 all-time outdoors) and 12:46.79 for 5000 (#6 all-time) and a 59:05 half marathon for good measure and his personal bests are something most runners in history would be jealous of.

The big question, of course, is whether those pbs will translate to a medal this summer. Kejelcha has won two world indoor titles at 3000, but has not been able to translate that to the 5000 outdoors as he was 4th at Worlds in 2015 and 2017 and was not selected to the Ethiopian Olympic team in 2016. 

He moved up to the 10k in 2019 and earned the silver at Worlds, which is the event he will run in Tokyo this summer. Clearly he is fit, but that’s still no guarantee of a medal. Kejelcha was beaten at the Ethiopian trials by Selemon BaregaGeoffrey Kamworor ran great (27:01 at altitude) to win the Kenyan trials, and Uganda has the world record holder Joshua Cheptegei as well as Jacob Kiplimo, who ran 26:33 in May in Ostrava. Only three of those men can medal. Good luck.

I am working hard for the Olympics but it will be very difficult as there is a lot of competition,” Kejelcha said after the race. “I have no more competitions now before Tokyo so I will just train hard.”

Yomif Kejelcha ETH   
Date of birth: 1 August 97
Age: 23 years 335 days
Height: 186 cm
Weight: 58 kg
Club/team: Nike Oregon Project
Full name: Yomif Kejelcha Atomsa
2 World Indoor Titles
2016: 3000 2018: 3000
10,000m World Championships Silver Medallist 2019
5000m 4th at World Championships 2017
5000m 4th at World Championships 2015
5000m World Junior Champion 2014
3000m World Youth Champion 2013
5000m African Junior Champion 2015
2000m World Indoor Alltime no. 20 4:57.74 Metz 28 Feb 2014
5km, Road World Alltime no. 401 13:55+ Valencia 27 Oct 2019
1500m World Indoor Alltime no. 3 3:31.25+ Boston MA 3 Mar 2019
One Mile World Alltime no. 828 3:58.24 Stanford CA 30 Jun 2019
3000m World Junior Alltime no. 1 7:28.19 Saint-Denis 27 Aug 2016
Half Marathon World Alltime no. 35 59:05 Valencia 27 Oct 2019
1500m World Alltime no. 140 3:32.59 Zagreb 4 Sep 2018
5000m World Alltime no. 8 12:46.79 Bruxelles 31 Aug 2018
10km, Road World Alltime no. 248 27:55+ Valencia 27 Oct 2019
10,000m World Alltime no. 24 26:49.34 Doha 6 Oct 2019
3000m World Alltime no. 7 7:26.25 Oslo 1 Jul 2021
5000m World Junior Alltime no. 8 12:53.98 Bruxelles 11 Sep 2015
3000m World Indoor Alltime no. 61 7:38.67 Karlsruhe 3 Feb 2018
One Mile World Indoor Alltime no. 1 3:47.01 Boston MA 3 Mar 2019


Hellen Obiri wins as Eilish McColgan breaks Paula Radcliffe’s British record

Hellen Obiri of Kenya picked up her first Diamond League win of the year as she used a 61 last lap to hold off Ethiopia’s Fantu Worku to win the women’s 50000 in 14:26.38. Worku, the 4th placer at the Ethiopian Trials in 14:29, was second in 14:26.80 as the Kenyan Trials 4th placer, Margaret Kipkemboi, the 2019 worlds silver medallist, was third in 14:28.24.

But the story of the night came in 4th. Brit Eilish McColgan stuck with the back of the lead pack, which was running 70 second laps, from start to finish thanks to the Wavelight pacing lights and then kicked it home in 62.8 to break Paula Radcliffe’s British record of 14:29.11 which had stood since 2004.

14:28 was a massive pb for McColgan. Mccolgan’s pb before tonight was 14:46.17.

“I couldn’t be happier with that British record. The last kilometer was fast out there but it brought out the competitiveness in me. It really has been a long time coming. My race times haven’t reflected my training which has been going really well,” said McColgan. “My aim in Tokyo will be a PB. I know there are some fast girls out there — their speeds make me giddy.”

MB: Eilish McColgan 14:28.55 – breaks Paula Radcliffe’s 17-year old British record!!!


1 Hellen Obiri KEN 13 Dec 89 14:26.38 SB «
2 Fantu Worku ETH 29 Mar 99 14:26.80 PB »
3 Margaret Kipkemboi KEN 9 Feb 93 14:28.24 SB «
4 Eilish McColgan GBR 25 Nov 90 14:28.55 NR PB »
5 Beatrice Chebet KEN 5 Mar 00 14:34.55 PB »
6 Tsehay Gemechu ETH 12 Dec 98 14:38.76 SB «
7 Yasemin Can TUR 11 Dec 96 14:46.13 SB «
8 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal NOR 14 Jun 90 14:47.67 PB »
9 Andrea Seccafien CAN 27 Aug 90 15:10.00 « »
10 Sarah Lahti SWE 18 Feb 95 15:10.24 PB »
11 Camille Buscomb NZL 11 Jul 90 15:23.90 SB «
Kate Van Buskirk CAN 9 Jun 87 DNF « »

Quick Take: Obiri’s form is improving but….

Obiri has won an awful lot during her career — the 2017 and 2019 world 5000 titles on the track, the 2019 world XC title — but the big void on her resume is the Olympic gold. The problem is she’s going to have her hands full in Tokyo as it came out earlier today that 1500 ace Gudaf Tsegay is opting for the 5000 for Ethiopia. And it’s possible Sifan Hassan does as well.

The reality is at the Ethiopian trials Worku, who was right with Obiri tonight, was 14+ seconds down of third as the top 3 Ethiopians ran 14:13-14-15.

Obiri realizes she faces a tough task.

“I still have a lot of work to do before the Olympics especially as I am doubling up there (5000 and 10000m). I have a lot of speed work to do between now and then. I have worked hard on my endurance and now I need to concentrate on the last 300m,” said Obiri.

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