Monday September 10, 2012
Victorian runner Collis Birmingham has beaten London Olympic medallists to win the 3000m at the IAAF World Challenge in Italy.
The London Olympian became the first non-African in the 42-year history of the meet to win the 3000 metres.
He clocked 7min 37.77sec to defeat Kenyan Olympic medallists Thomas Longosowa and Ezekial Kemboi.
Training partner Bobby Curtis held on for second in a personal best 7:43.65 and 17-year-old World Youth and World Junior Steeplechase Champion Conselus Kipruto upstaged his more famous fellow Kenyans with third in 7:44.09.
'If I ran well I thought I'd have a chance to finish high up in the race or even win,' said Birmingham, who had previously enjoyed personal best times at the small hilltop town north of Rome over 1500m in 2009 and 3000m 2010.
The time was his second fastest ever over 3000m, coming just two weeks after his 7:35.45 in Stockholm.
Birmingham was content to sit fifth for most of the first half of the race.
At 1800m he had moved up to third and was four seconds clear when he took the bell for the final 400m.
New Zealand's double Olympic champion Valerie Adams won the women's shotput with a meet record throw of 20.77 metres, comfortably beating the previous best of 19.83.
Seven other London gold medallists took part in the meet. Russian high jumper Anna Chicherova was one of them, but she was beaten by compatriot Svetlana Shkolina.
Shkolina, who took bronze at the Olympics, also beat Chicherova in the Diamond League final in Brussels on Friday.
France's Christophe Lemaitre won the men's 100 metres in 10.04 seconds.
In the men's triple jump, Italy's European champion and Olympic bronze medallist Fabrizio Donato had to quit after the first jump after picking up a slight injury. Benjamin Compaore of France won with a jump of 17.17m.