Kipruto, Chebet cruise in Continental Cup - Daily Nation

Kipruto, Chebet cruise in Continental Cup

Sunday September 9 2018

Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto celebrates after winning the 3,000m steeplechase during the IAAF Continental Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8, 2018. PHOTO| GETTY IMAGES |

Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto celebrates after winning the 3,000m steeplechase during the IAAF Continental Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8, 2018. PHOTO | GETTY IMAGES |  

By AYUMBA AYODI
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By IAAF.ORG
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Africa champions Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase) and Winny Chebet (1,500m) added yet more accolades to their collections when they won their respective races at the IAAF Continental Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Saturday.

Fast-rising Emmanuel Korir also from Kenya atoned for his failure at the Africa Championships to win the men’s 800m final, as World and Commonwealth 5,000m champion Kenya’s Hellen Obiri, fell short in the women’s 3,000m, losing the battle to Dutch girl Sifan Hassan.

The winners got to pocket Sh 3 million, with first runners up getting Sh 1.5 million. Bronze winners got Sh 1 million.

The magnificent Kipruto, who started to celebrate with 350m to go, perhaps as the undisputed king of steeplechase, having all the major titles in the race.

After claiming 2016 Rio Olympics and 2017 London World crowns, Kipruto would collect the Gold Coast Commonwealth and Africa titles, before following it up with the 2018 Diamond League Trophy this year.

Kenya's Winny Chebet cruises to victory in the 1500m during the IAAF Continental Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8, 2018. PHOTO | GETTY IMAGES |

Kenya's Winny Chebet cruises to victory in the 1500m during the IAAF Continental Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8, 2018. PHOTO | GETTY IMAGES |

On Saturday, Kipruto virtually jogged to his sixth major title, giving Team Africa victory in 8 minutes and 22.55 seconds.

Team Americas' Matthew Hughes took a distant second in 8:29.70, with Europe's Yohannes Chiappinelli third in 8:32.89.

Chebet won the women's 1500m final in 4:16.01 after leading for most of the race, as the Rongai Clun athlete became only the second African winner of the event in the World/ Continental Cup history after Hassiba Boulmerka in 1994.

Shelby Houlihan of the USA was the runners-up for the Americas in 4:16.36, as the Moroccan Rababe Arafi completed the podium in 4:17.19 to give Team Africa maximum points in the team competition.

Chebet took to the front in the early stages and her rivals seemed content to follow her at a leisurely pace, with the opening lap run outside 73 seconds.

The leader and the pace remained constant for another 500 metres, before Houlihan made the first move.

She moved into the lead, but not for long. To the delight of the Ostrava crowd, the Czech Simona Vrzalova put in a burst of speed on the last straight of the penultimate lap to move past everyone.

Kenya's Emmanuel Korir (right) triumphs in the 800m during the IAAF Continental Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8, 2018. PHOTO | GETTY IMAGES |

Kenya's Emmanuel Korir (right) triumphs in the 800m during the IAAF Continental Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8, 2018. PHOTO | GETTY IMAGES |

Vrzalova's lead lasted some 200 metres before she began to fade, while those behind her started to sprint for home. Once again it was Chebet in the lead, with Houlihan doing the chasing.

The American appeared to close down the gap somewhat in the final metres, but that was not enough. Chebet emerged victorious with her final 300 metres taking just over 42 seconds.

Fresh from winning Diamond League Trophy, Korir, who won silver at the Africa Championships, clocked 1:46.50 for his maiden major.

Korir edged out Team America's Clayton Murphy of the USA to second place in 1:46.77, as Commonwealth and Africa champion Nijel Amos from Botswana won bronze for Team Africa in 1:46.77.

A Championship record of 8:27.58 in the women’s 3,000 by Hassan helped Team Europe to share the overall points with Team Africa.

Team Africa’s Senbere Teferi and World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri took second and third place in a personal best of 8:32.49 and 8:36.20.