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Ndiku, Kipketer light up Beijing

Thursday May 21 2015

Jonathan Muia Ndiku at a past international event. Ndiku turned on the afterburners to win the IAAF Challenge men’s 3,000m steeple chase in Beijing on May 20, 2015. FILE PHOTO

Jonathan Muia Ndiku at a past international event. Ndiku turned on the afterburners to win the IAAF Challenge men’s 3,000m steeple chase in Beijing on May 20, 2015. FILE PHOTO 

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Commonwealth Games 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Jonathan Muia Ndiku and world junior 800 metres champion Alfred Kipketer bounced back to win their speciality at the IAAF Challenge in Beijing yesterday.

Ndiku, who finished third in 8:10.72 at Shanghai Diamond League on Saturday, clocked 8:11.64, beating compatriot Clement Kemboi Kimutai in 8:12.98 as Kenya-born John Kibet Koech, now running for Bahrain, settled for third place in 8:14.75.

Kipketer, who is also the world youth champion, was in tip top form, winning the two-lap race in 1:45.45 and atoning for his defeat in Doha on Friday.

In Doha, Kipketer had finished third in 1:44.53, losing the battle to Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti in 1:43.78 and Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich in 1:44.53 respectively.

Another Kenyan born runner, Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich, running for Bahrain, claimed second place yesterday in 1:45.81 as American Erik Sowinski settled for third in 1:45.82.  

Meanwhile, an array of Kenyan elite athletes will be on show at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Rabat, Morocco due June 14. 

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Kenyan runners will be out in force in the longer distances, including the 2011 world 1,500m silver medallist Silas Kiplagat and the 2014 Diamond League Series 3,000m steeplechase winner Jairus Birech.

Kiplagat is fresh from winning the Shanghai race, where he set a world leading time of 3:35.29 as Birech also won in a world leading time of 8:05.36.

Former world 10,000m and 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot, who won a 10km road race in South Africa last weekend, Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Sally Kipyego and Janet Kisa will highlight the women’s 3,000m.

Commonwealth Games and Africa javelin champion Julius Yego will take on former Africa champion, Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman.

Also in the attractive javelin competition will be Russia’s 2013 IAAF World Championships bronze medallist Dmitry Tarabin and Czech Rupublic’s Petr Frydrych.

Kenya national 800m champion Rotich and London Olympic 800m bronze medallist Timothy Kitum will battle it out in the men’s two-lap race that also has Polan’s Adam Kszczot.

The women’s race over two laps will feature Russia’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Yekaterina Poistogova against Belarus’ 2014 European champion Maryna Arzamasova.

America’s David Oliver ran the season’s quickest 110m hurdles of 13.15sec yesterday as the Beijing World Challenge was overshadowed by a row involving controversial sprinter Justin Gatlin.

Oliver, three months before he intends to return to the Bird’s Nest stadium to defend his world title, lowered his 13.17 set at the Shanghai Diamond League on Sunday as he again beat Cuba’s Orlando Ortega into second. (Additional reporting by AFP)

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