Chepkoech sets new meet record in Kenya 1-2 finish

Saturday May 18 2019

Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya celebrates after winning the women's 3000 metres steeplechase event during the IAAF Diamond League competition in Shanghai on May 18, 2019. PHOTO | HECTOR RETAMAL |

Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya celebrates after winning the women's 3000 metres steeplechase event during the IAAF Diamond League competition in Shanghai on May 18, 2019. PHOTO | HECTOR RETAMAL |  AFP

BENARD ROTICH
By BENARD ROTICH
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World 3,000 metres steeplechase record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech, on Saturday proved she is still the woman to beat after winning the race in the Shanghai leg of the IAAF Diamond League series.

The Kericho-based athlete took an early lead before cutting the tape in a world lead time of 9 minutes, 04.53 seconds that was also a new meet record.

Coming second was World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol, who clocked 9:11.53, while Uganda's Peruth Chemutai settled for third position in 9:17.78.

"I'm happy I won the race and it's my prayer that I continue with the same spirit in the future races. I had done good training and it has borne fruits though it was tough," said Chepkoech.

She also said that the Diamond Leagues was a build-up for the World Championships where she's eyeing a place in Team Kenya and ultimately the title.

"My goal is to win the world title and my training and competitions are all geared towards the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in September," said the athlete who was seventh during the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March.

Chespol on her part said that it was a good start to tjhe season as she seeks to represent Kenya in the World Championships.

"This is a good start for me and I will be participating in more races as I prepare for the World event and hopefully a podium finish," she said.

It was a clean sweep for the Ethiopians in men’s 5,000m where Kejelcha Yomif won in 13:04.16. Selemon Barega was second in 13:04.71 while compatriot Hagos Gebrhiwet sealed the podium in 13:04.83.

Nicholas Kimeli was the first Kenyan athlete who crossed the line in sixth position clocking 13:06.68. Stanley Waithaka came in eighth position after timing 13:08.97 while Richard Yator came in 10th position running in 13:13.24.

World Cross Country champion in the senior category Joshua Cheptegei finished the race in seventh position clocking 13:06.68.

Arafi Rababe from Morocco won the women’s 1,500m race after timing 4:01.15 ahead of Gudaf Tsegay from Ethiopia who clocked 4:01.25 while Uganda's Winnie Nanyondo settled for third place in 4:01.39.

Kenya's Winny Chebet finished the race in seventh position after timing 4:02.94 while compatriot Nelly Jepkosgei crossed the line in 10th position in 4:05.07.

In the javelin men's category, Kenya's Julius Yego threw his seasons best of 77.82 emerging seventh overall. The next Diamond leg will be on May 20 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Noah Lyles launched himself from near the back of the field to beat fellow American Christian Coleman by just 0.006secs and win the 100 metres.

Lyles’s blistering 9.86sec was the best time this year and a personal best, and lays down a marker ahead of the world championships in the autumn and the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

The 21-year-old, part of a new generation of American sprinters, ducked to the line with a glance to his left to Coleman. A photo finish confirmed Lyles had won.

Third was South Africa’s Akani Simbine and fourth last year’s Shanghai victor, Britain’s Reece Prescod.

It is early days in the season, but Lyles and his rivals are already eyeing the Doha world championships in September.

Additional reporting by AFP

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