Tired Chemutai misses Diamond League prize

Saturday September 11 2021

Ugandan athlete Peruth Chemutai. PHOTO/AFP

By Darren Allan Kyeyune

Coach Addy Ruiter didn’t have much expectation from Peruth Chemutai as she headed for the 3000m steeplechase at Wanda Diamond League (DL) final in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Olympic champion struggled in the final stages of the water-jump race on Thursday before finishing seventh.
“Peruth is tired and the top shape is not there anymore,” said Dutchman Ruiter after watching Chemutai post a time of nine minutes and 20.16 seconds.

The race was won by Kenyan Norah Jeruto in a time of 9:07.33 after she took over immediately pace setter Fancy Cherono’s work was done after 1km.

This was Chemutai’s second race since winning the Olympic title in Tokyo last month. The 22-year-old also finished seventh in a time of 9:10.87 at the Eugene DL in Oregon, US, on August 21.

“After the Olympics, a lot of receptions (for the medal), travelling to the US and two times to Europe, she has not had enough time for resting and good training,” added Ruiter.

A win in Zurich would have earned Chamutai the prestigious DL trophy, $30,000 (Shs106m) in prize money as well as by a wild card to the Eugene World Championships due next July.


But after Cherono led the field through the first 1km in 3:00.23, Chemutai kept behind leader Jeruto and Hyvin Kiyeng as American Courtney Frerichs followed her. With three laps left, a gap grew between the front two and Chemutai before four others went past her. By the time the bell was rang, Chemutai’s body had given way. 

In the women’s 1500m, Olympic champion Kenyan Faith Kipyegon again beat her Dutch foe Sifan Hassan in a time of 3:58.33, while Winnie Nanyondo came seventh in 4:04.80.

In the 800m, Halimah Nakaayi still broke the two-minute barrier for the fifth time in nine attempts this season but she came in a fifth.

The race was won by Britain’s rising star Keely Hodgkinson in 1:57.98. The teenage Olympic silver medallist beat American Kate Grace and Jamaican Natoya Goule into second and third.


1.Norah Jeruto     KEN    9:07.33
2.Hyvin Kiyeng     KEN    9:08.55
3.Courtney Frerichs     USA    9:08.74
7.Peruth Chemutai    UGA    9:20.16
1.Faith Kipyegon    KEN    3:58.33
2.Sifan Hassan     NED    3:58.55
3.Josette Norris     USA    4:00.41
7.Winnie Nanyondo    UGA    4:04.80
1.Keely Hodgkinson     GBR    1:57.98
2.Kate Grace    USA    1:58.34
3.Natoya Goule    JAM    1:58.34
5.Halimah Nakaayi    UGA    1:58.89

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