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Kenya’s Steeplechase trio for Sunday’s final

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NAIROBI, Kenya, 3 August – Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto was in top form, as he led his compatriots in booking places at Sunday’s men 3000m steeplechase final on Friday.

Kipruto won his heat in 8:28.62 with Athens 2004 winner Ezekiel Kemboi and African champion Abel Mutai joining him in the medal race by coming second and third in their qualifiers.

The win puts Kenya’s dream 3000m men steeplechase podium sweep in shape since 2004 where the world champion led the defending Olympics titleholder and Paul Kipsiele Koech across the line.

Mutai was first off the mark in the water and barriers race in heat one where he finished third behind Frenchman Benabad Mekhisi who completed in first place in 8:16.23 with Evan Jager of the USA second in 8.16.21.

Kipruto who is seeking to be the first man to defend the men steeplechase title was next in heat two completing first in 8:28.62 ahead of Italian Floriani Yuri 8:29.01 while Brahim Taleb of Morocco was third in 8:29.02.

Kemboi ran a tactical race trailing the leading pack in the starting laps before he picked up pace and eventually slowed down to eventually finish second in 8:20.97 behind Roba Gari of Ethiopia who clocked 8:20.68 while Morrocan Hamid Ezzine was third in 8:21.25.

The final will be held on Sunday at 11.25pm local time.

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