Deresse Mekonnen won the Millrose Game’s marquee Wanamaker Mile event Friday night, when he beat Bernard Lagat to become the first runner other than the runner-up to take the event since 2004.
The Ethiopian Mekonnen held off the challenge of Lagat in the final two laps on his way to clocking a time of 3 minutes, 58.58 seconds for the win.
Lagat finished second in 3:59.01 with another American David Torrence taking third in 4:00.13.
“I am very happy about winning. I had not competed for about 6 months due to illness (stomach problems) and I didn’t expect that I would run this well,” Mekonnen, the two-time defending world indoor 1,500-meter champion said through a translator.
“I thought I would make maybe 4th or 5th, so I’m very happy. It took a lot to take first. I expected that Lagat would win. Lagat is a great guy.
“I would have been happy if he had won too. I’ve only trained for about three months.”
Fellow Jamaican, Cater said: “I think it was a good race overall. I stumbled at the start. I was confused by a line on the track and I put on the brakes a bit early.”
In other results on the night, Jamaicans Veronica Campbell-Brown and Nesta Carter won the women’s and men’s 60m dash in 7.11 seconds and 6.52secs, respectively.
““I’m blessed to be here. New York is one of my favorite places to run,” Campbell-Brown said after her win.
“It was a good way to start. It’s a championship year and I will run each race to prepare.
Another Jamaican, Vonette Dixon, used a strong start to win the women’s 60-meter hurdles in 8.00 seconds, Ryan Whiting threw 21.31m to beat favorite and reigning world champion Christian Cantwell in the men’s Shot Put.