Steeplechase queens send unity message ahead of Doha

Wednesday March 18 2020

Kenya's 3,000m steeplechase quartet for the World Championships from left Fancy Cherono, Cellphine Chespol, Beatrice Chepkoech and Hyvin Kiyeng pose for photos after their race at the Nyayo national Stadium on September 12, 2019. PHOTO | AYUMBA AYODI |


Diamond League Series champion Beatrice Chepkoech will lead Kenya's bid for gold in the women's 3,000m steeplechase at the World Championships set for September 27 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.

Chepkoech, who is also the Intercontinental Cup champion and world record holder, led 2015 World 3,000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng and World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist Cellphine Chespol in crossing the finishing line holding hands together in a sign of unity.

However, Chepkoech won the race at the Nyayo National Stadium in 9 minutes and 45.15 seconds as Kiyeng, the 2017 World bronze medallist, settled second in 9:45.20.

Chespol came home third in 9:45.24 as African Games silver medallist Fancy Cherono wound fourth to seal the last place in the team.

Kenya has the privilege of providing four athletes to the World event after Chepkoech won the Diamond League Series.

"This is a sign of unity and it's our plan to go and destroy the world in a similar fashion come Doha," said Chepkoech.


Kiyeng said they are going into Doha as a team, having learnt great lessons from the 2017 London World Championships where Kenya lost the title to American Emma Coburn.

Chepkoech, who was favourite to win the race, missed a water jump and had to go back but it was too late. Kiyeng, who was still battling a hamstring injury, had to settle for bronze.

Chepkoech once again heads to Doha as favourite. "I am not under pressure since it depends on how the day will be but we have put 2017 London behind us and can only pray for good health and put God first," said Chepkoech.