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I foresee a Kenyan sweep - Milcah Chemos

Friday August 11 2017

From left: Australia's Genevieve Lacaze, US athlete Emma Coburn and Kenya's Celliphine Chepteek Chespol compete in the women's 3000m steeplechase at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 9, 2017. PHOTO | JEWEL SAMAD | AFP

From left: Australia's Genevieve Lacaze, US athlete Emma Coburn and Kenya's Celliphine Chepteek Chespol compete in the women's 3000m steeplechase at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 9, 2017. PHOTO | JEWEL SAMAD | AFP  

By BERNARD ROTICH

IN LONDON

Former world 3000m steeplechase champion Milcah Chemos has predicted a podium sweep by Kenya’s women in Friday night’s World Championships final.
Kenya’s charge is spearhead by defending champion Hyvin Kiyeng.

Chemos, who made history when she handed Kenya its maiden world victory during the 2013 Moscow championships, said the title is for the Kenyans to lose even with Olympic champion and world record holder Ruth Jebet also in contention.

Jebet is a Kenyan-born athlete who competes for her adopted country of Bahrain.

Chemos said Kiyeng, the Rio Olympics silver medallist, World Under-20 Championships and World Under-18 Championships gold medallist Cellphine Chespol, Commonwealth champion Purity Kirui and Beatrice Chepkoech are all capable of handing Kenya victory.

“They all have potential to deliver and what amazes is that each has the ability to win depending on where the battle will start from in the last 1,000m,” said Chemos, who has predicted a high-pace race.

Chemos, who is with Team Kenya in London on the coaching panel, said she is certain Jebet will be going for a fast race, having been known to kick after 2,000m.

“The battle will be slow the first 1,000m but it’s in the next 1,000m where it will be won.”

“That is where Jebet likes dictating pace,” said Chemos.

“Our girls should keep an eye on Jebet especially at the 2,000m mark.”

Chemos said if the Kenyans will keep tabs on Jebet, who does the first 2,000m at between 2:52 and 2:55 minutes, then they will be home and dry.

“We know who among the Kenyans will win if the kick starts with 600m, 400m and 200m to go respectively,” said Chemos, adding that the Kenyans will not allow Jebet to build a gap of up to 20m.

Chemos said the Kenyans have been prepared mentally for the race that could be decided from the 1,000m to 2,000m.

“With complete high pace, Jebet will be lucky to get bronze since our girls are in splendid form.

“Chespol and Chepkoech are in top shape while Kiyeng’s experience in previous events is invaluable. Kirui has something up her sleeves too,” said Chemos, the 2009 and 2011 world silver medallist.