Women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase world record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech, capitalised on searing pace to beat her opponents on her way to winning gold medal for Kenya in the water and barriers race at the World Championships on Monday night.
Chepkoech, who sprinted clear of her opponents early in the first lap, led from start to finish and won in a championship record time of 8 minutes and 57.84 seconds.
In winning Monday's final, Chepkoech atoned for her fourth-place finish in the 2017 World Championships in London after being plagued by misfortunes.
On that occasion, Chepkoech who had been leading in the race missed a water jump and was forced back to the jump as her opponents opened a gap on her which proved catastrophic, relegating her to fourth place.
Chepkoech was happy to have finally won the world title.
“I am so happy to have won the world title. Finally I am a world champion which is good after coming close in 2017,” the 28-year-old athlete told Nation Sport in Doha.
And the newly-crowned world champion said she sprinted to the front and built a 60-metre gap between her and her opponents as strategy.
“I knew my opponents were tough, so I decided to run from the front. I was fourth in 2016 Olympics and I again came fourth in the 2017 World Championships so I thought if I destroyed the field in the first kilometre, they would be devastated going into the second and it worked well,” an elated Chepkoech, who won races in five Diamond League Series this season to lift the trophy, said.
The newly-crowned world champion said her focus will now be the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
“My focus is now the Olympics because I have won the world title thatb has eluded me for long,” she said.
Chepkoech took the lead early in the race and was followed by Hyvin Kiyeng for the better part as Celliphine Chespol stayed in third place.
Chepkoech accelerated and built a healthy gap on her opponents as Kiyeng fell to fourth place and Chespol was left further behind.
Midway through the race, an exhausted Chespol dropped out, leaving Chepkoech and Kiyeng to fly the country’s flag.
America’s Emma Coburn, who is 2016 Olympics bronze medallist, timed 9:02.35 to finish second in the race, followed by Germany’s Gesa Krause in 9:03.30.
Kiyeng finished eighth in 9:13.53, while Chespol did not finish the race. Kiyeng needed medical attention after collapsing to the ground soon after finishing the race.