Kenyans Beatrice Chepkoech and Bethwell Birgen warmed up for the World Indoor Championships with firm victories in their 1,500m races at Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday.
Chepkoech went clear in the last lap to win in 4 minutes and 02.21 seconds, a victory that saw her overtake Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba in the World Indoor Tour standings to take the series victory.
Chepkoech, who is a steeplechase specialist, beat Ethiopian Embaye Axumawit to second in 4:07.06 as another Kenyan Winny Chebet settled for third in 4:08.33 at the final leg of the World Indoor
Birgen clocked 3:37.76 to win the men’s 1,500m to brush aside compatriot Vincent Kibet in 3:37.88, as Ryan Gregson from Australia time 3:38.00 for third.
Chepkoech will compete in 1,500m at the World Indoor Championships due March 1 to 4 in Birmingham, England, while Birgen will team up with Davis Kiplagat in 3,000m.
Kibet, who lost the Glasgow battle to Birgen, is Kenya’s representative in the men’s 1,500m at the World Indoor.
Fast-rising Justus Soget of Kenya stunned a rich field, clocking 7:39.09 to win men’s 3,000m race. World 5,000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo of USA came in second in 7:39.10, with Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha timing 7:39.36 for third. Kiplangat was placed fourth in 7:40.12.