NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22- Hillary Kipsang Yego set a stadium record as former world champion, Alfred Kirwa returned to the groove as the IAAF World Challenge went down at the Birds’ Nest in Beijing.
Elsewhere, the Kenyan charge saw African record holder and newly appointed Orange brand ambassador, Julius Yego finish fourth in the men’s Javelin as Eunice Sum led the podium sweep in the women’s 1500m.
The first athletics meet held at the iconic Birds’ Nest since the 2008 Olympics was also highlighted by two world leading marks – one by USA’s David Oliver in the 110m Hurdles, which he won in 13.16, and another in the women’s High Jump, which was won by Olympic champion Anna Chicherova with a 2.02m jump.
Yego delivered in the men’s 3000m Steeplechase – the only event of the evening to produce a stadium record when he stunned the man who collected Olympic gold at the stadium five years ago, Brimin Kipruto.
The 20-year-old wound up the pace in the final few laps to build up a huge lead, crossing the line in 8:09.17 – more than six seconds ahead of Kipruto.
Gilbert Kirui (8:19.14) and Bernard Nganga (8:19.14) rounded out the top four for the Kenyans with Uganda’s Jacob Araptany (8:19.48) finishing fifth.
In the men’s two-lap competition, the forgotten man of the country’s 800m running, Kirwa Yego returned to the top of the podium in 1:46.43.
The 2007 World champion and Beijing Olympics silver winner beat compatriots Edwin Kiplagat (1:46.46) and Nicholas Kiplangat (1:47.50) who stood to his left and right in the rostrum to the cake.
Yego propelling finish caught up with the runner-up and he just nicked him on the line for his first victory over the distance in two years.
Having caused ripples with an area record at the last Olympics, Javelin star Yego continued his rise on the international circuit when his best throw of 79.43m landed him a slot just outside the podium.
After winning in Doha and throwing a season’s best of 86.67m in Shanghai, Vitezslav Vesely had problems in Beijing. His first three throws were awful with the only measured one landing at 71m.
With Russian Dmitriy Tarabin leading the competition with 81.11m, the 30-year-old Czech finally got over 80 metres with his fifth and sixth throws, but a 80.81m best was only enough for second place. Ari Mannio of Finland was third with 80.65m.
Sum, a finalist at the London Olympics and protégée of former world champion, Janeth Jepkosgei out-sprinted Mary Kuria, 4:04.49 to 4:05.17 in the close finish to the women’s 1,500m race.
Nelly Jepkosgei (4:08.59) ensured the medal shut-out for Kenya.