St Leonards ace shines at World Championships

Athletics ace Lee Emanuel produced a tremendous performance at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.

Monday, 21st March 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:26 pm
St Leonards athlete Lee Emanuel on the start line in the men's 3,000m final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships

The middle distance runner from St Leonards finished sixth in the men’s 3,000m final in Portland, United States, last night (Sunday).

Emanuel mixed it with the top class African runners, who filled four of the top five places, and was the only European competitor to reach the 12-man final.

The pace was very slow for the first 1,800m - as is often the case in major championship finals - before picking up during the remainder of the race.

Emanuel finished in 8:00.70, pipping Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo (United States) on the line. He also beat 2013 world 5,000m bronze medallist Isiah Kiplangat Koech (Kenya).

The gold medal was won by 18-year-old Ethiopian talent Yomif Kejelcha in 7:57.21, while world and Olympic 1,500m bronze medallist Abdalaati Iguider (Morocco) was fourth.

Emanuel previously clocked a season’s best 7:53.18 to finish fourth in his heat on Friday and claim the last automatic qualification place for the final, although the three runners immediately behind him also went through as fastest losers.

In a heat packed with quality, the 31-year-old finished strongly to gain two places in the last 200m, crossing the line just ahead of reigning champion and last year’s 5,000m silver medallist at the outdoor World Championships, Caleb Ndiku (Kenya).

This was Emanuel’s second appearance at the IAAF World Indoor Championships having made his Great Britain debut in the 1,500m two years ago in Poland. He then won a 3,000m silver medal at the European Indoor Championships last year.

Emanuel, who spends the bulk of his time training in the United States, beat British 5,000m outdoor champion Tom Farrell to retain his Indoor British Championships 3,000m title last month having triumphed over 1,500m in 2014.

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