Elijah Manangoi salutes the crowd after winning the Continental Cup 1500m title (© Getty Images)
Running with the composed confidence of a world champion, Elijah Manangoi dispatched his rivals from around the globe for the second straight year with a peerless performance to win the 1500m at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018.
The Kenyan ran a relaxed opening half to the race, sitting in behind early leader Drew Hunter of Team Americas, who towed them through 400m in 60.74. Manangoi moved to the front on the next lap, hitting 800m in 2:03.56, but it was solely to secure prime position for the last lap burn-up.
He was soon joined by European duo Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Marcin Lewandowski, who clung to Manangoi’s shoulder as the African hit 1200m in 3:01.19.
By then the pace had truly clicked into gear, Manangoi stretching the field out behind him in a line. Around the last turn Lewandowski came charging at him but Manangoi had plenty up his sleeve, changing gears once he turned for home and surging away to win in 3:40.00.
“This means a lot to me because it wasn’t only about my own ambitions but to bring as many points as possible to Team Africa,” said Manangoi. “I knew it would not be easy, but you have to be ready for a very tactical race. It’s the finish to a really great year. I won Commonwealth Games, African Championships and after this win at the Continental Cup I’m going to start preparations for Doha 2019.”
Behind Manangoi, Lewandowski turned the tables on Ingebrigtsen from their European 1500m final by taking second in 3:40.42, with the young Norwegian closing out a superb season in third with 3:40.80.
Further back, Team Americas’ Charles Philibert-Thiboutot came through well to take fourth in 3:40.90, with Asia-Pacific’s Ryan Gregson a flicker behind in fifth with 3:40.91.
Europe took the maximum eight points in the team event courtesy of Lewandowski and Ingebrigtsen’s joint effort behind Manangoi.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF