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Another celebrated weekend for Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 12- It was yet another celebrated weekend for Kenyan runners as once again they gave yet another lesson on their mastery of distance racing overseas.

On the track, Janeth Jepkosgei, Augustine Choge and a meet record performance from steeplechaser Paul Kipseiele Koech were among the highlight performances at the 90th ISTAF Berlin meeting on Sunday.

Kipsiele, whose difficulty in running at altitude saw him in the scrapheap of Kenya’s squad for the Daegu World Championships turned up in Berlin only 48 hours after a runner-up finish in Zurich confirmed him as the Diamond Race winner in his event for the second year running.

The circuit racing expert who still had a point to prove after being pipped by the world champion, Ezekiel Kemboi 50m from the finish in Zurich decided to hit the front way before the 2000m mark to romp home to an 8:04.48, one of the four meet records set in Berlin.

Pace setter Bernard Nganga, who threatened to upset Kipsiele in the homestretch before the more experienced compatriot prevailed after the last barrier, decided to finish the race and held on for second clocking an 8:05.88 personal best.

In the women’s 800m, Jepkosgei, the Worlds bronze medallist, employed similar tactics to those at the Daegu final but this time, they paid off as she stopped the timer at 1:58.26 for victory.

Compatriot and protégé Eunice Sum, a semi finalist in Daegu, took her mentor through the opening lap and the 2007 world champion then hit the front powerfully after the bell and continued motoring away in the final stretch to score an impressive victory over South Africa’s rival Caster Semenya who raced 1:58.74.

With all eyes on Nixon Chepseba who was crowned the men 1500m race Diamond Race winner in Zurich, Augustine Choge, the Commonwealth 2006 champion over 5000m, gave a tacit reminder he is still around with an impressive 3:31.14 season’s best.

Moroccan Abdalaati Iguider cruised by Chepseba to take second by a narrow 0.06 in 3:31.60.

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A day earlier in Rieti, world champion and record holder, David Rudisha, returned to the same track where he ran the 1:41.01 all time best and delivered another jaw-dropping performance to sear to a 1:41.33 world lead and the fourth fastest of all time.

There was also a moment of personal triumph for freshly minted 1500m world champion, Asbel Kiprop who realised his dream of running in the region of 3:30 when he was rewarded with a 3:30.46 lifetime best that wiped off domestic rival and silver winner, Silas Kiplagat’s 3:30.47 off the world lead charts.

On the roads, Philemon Limo breezed to a 27:34 course record in the Metro 10Km in Prague on Saturday.

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