NAIROBI, Kenya, September 8- Double world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot collection of top honours expanded to accommodate her second Diamond Trophy on Thursday night when she won the women 5000m race at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich.
Nixon Chepseba and Paul Kipsiele Koech also bagged their Diamond race victories to give Kenya three winners in the first final.
Cheruiyot sealed her fourth win out of a similar number of starts to hold on to her elite circuit title and the $40,000 (Sh3.72m) jackpot with a meet record of 14:30.10 and the glamorous escort across the line by four of her compatriots who sealed a Kenyan top five sweep.
Sally Kipyego, Cheruiyot’s bridesmaid in the women 10000m in Daegu, once again proved to be the closest challenger here, romping home in 14:30.42 in a thrilling finale to the race.
Worlds 10000m bronze winner, Linet Masai (14:35.11), Daegu 5000m silver winner, Sylvia Kibet (14:35.43) and Priscah Jepleting, fourth in the 10000m provided the perfect backdrop in the coronation race of Cheruiyot as the best distance female runner this year.
With the World Cross and two world titles sewn up for the diminutive 28-year-old, she needed to finish the race in the podium position to be confirmed the Diamond Race winner but Cheruiyot does not understand defeat.
After world junior 3000m champion, Mercy Cherono, exited her rabbit duties at 3000m, Masai took over the lead with Cheruiyot and Kipyego in tow and 200m from the bell, the Daegu double winner edged to the front.
The exertions of clocking 20000m in Korea meant she could not powerfully motor away as is her trademark, allowing Kipyego to move to within a stride as they came for the home straight.
Two quick glances at the American based women 10000m silver winner at the homestretch accompanied by bursts of speed proved the difference as Cheruiyot once again, ascended to the summit of circuit racing.
In the men 1500m champion, Chepseba who had a point to prove after being dropped from the Daegu line-up stole the Diamond Trophy from under the nose of freshly minted world titleholder, Asbel Kiprop in a strange race.
With Kiprop and Daegu silver winner, Silas Kiplagat shadowing each other, it was Chepseba, who was swapped with Daniel Kipchirchir Komen in the Daegu line-up who prevailed, timing his breakaway to perfection to win in 3:32.74.
Behind him, all was unfolding as first, Haron Keitany, the 2008 African champion, then Kiprop and finally Kiplagat, mounted a frantic chase for the line.
Kiplagat arrived home in 3:33.56 for second with Keitany (3:34.37) coming home in the bronze position to seal the Kenyan podium sweep.
Kiprop slumped to seventh (3:34.89) as Mohammed Moustaoui (3:34.61) of Morocco, Augustine Choge (3:34.67) and Ethiopia’s Mekonnen Gebremedhin (3:34.75) dipped ahead of him.
Chepseba’s shock win also landed him the Diamond Trophy crown at the expense of holder Kiprop, with the final tally reading 12 against 11, since the Zurich meet which was the first final of the elite circuit had eight points, double the tally, up for grabs for the win.
In the men 3000m steeplechase, Ezekiel Kemboi’s song continued in Zurich when he caught up with circuit speedster, Kipsiele at the last hurdle after shadowing for the better of the last four laps to reign supreme in 8:07.72.
Although there was no rendition of Emily Chepchumba number he did in Korea, Kemboi’s sense of excellent timing yet mowed an opponent who missed the Daegu party although his 8:07.89 for second was enough to earn him the consolation of a second successive Diamond Trophy.