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Jelimo, Chepseba triumph in Berlin

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NAIROBI, Kenya, August 3- World Indoor champion, Pamela Jelimo and Nixon Chepseba stormed to top honours during the IAAF World Challenge Berlin ISTAF meet in Germany.

Jelimo continued her resurgence after missing a podium place at London Olympics by scooping the women 800m race in a close finish with 1:58.68 from Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi/1:58.67).

“I expected to run 1:56, but maybe my body was not ready or too tired,” Jelimo told the IAAF in her second victory in three outings since her title defence collapsed in London.

Jelimo who will be aiming to win the Samsung Diamond League in Brussels later this week won in Lausanne (1:57.59) over Mariya Savinova who succeeded her as Olympics champion on August 23 before the Russian turned tables on the Kenyan in Birmingham three days later.

In the men’s equivalent, Edwin Kiplagat (1:44.36) trailed Ethiopia’s World Indoor titleholder, Mohammed Aman (1:43.62) to the line as World Youth winner, Leonard Konsencha (1:45.18) came fourth.

It was Aman’s second win on the bounce after he upset world record holder and Olympics champion, David Rudisha in Zurich last week.

Since propping the field at London Olympics, Nixon Chepseba, has gone about re-establishing his reputation and victory in the men’s 1500m event went a long way in doing exactly that.

Chepseba led a Kenyan 1-2-3-4 finish by holding off the charging Bethwell Birgen (3:33.41) and Caleb Mwangangi (3:33:43) to win in 3:33.11. Collins Cheboi (3:33.58) was fourth.

In the women 3000m steeple, Lydia Chepkurui lost the victory to a charged Olympics bronze winner, Ethiopia’s Sofia Assefa, who was smarting from being disqualified at the Zurich Diamond League final.

The Ethiopian who lost the Diamond Trophy to Milcah Chemos ran 9:21.64 to eclipse her Kenyan challenger who clocked 9:22.27 for the bridesmaid position.

World Youth titleholder Hyvin Kiyeng (9:27.29), 2008 Olympics silver winner, Eunice Jepkorir (9:30.42), Commonwealth silver winner, Mercy Njoroge (9:32.32) and Beijing fourth finisher, Ruth Bosibori (9:32.81) trailed each other to the line in positions 4 to 7.

Elsewhere, Ezekiel Chebii shattered the course record at the Lille Half Marathon over the weekend clocking an impressive 59:05, well under the previous course mark of 59:36 set by Ethiopian Tilahun Regassa in 2008.
It was also a marked improvement over the distance for Chebii whose previous best was 59:22 from the Berlin Half Marathon in April.

Bernard Koech was second in 59:10, a personal best, but was overshadowed by the third place finisher, track standout Eliud Kipchoge who made his debut over the distance.

The 27-year-old, who won the World 5000m title in 2003 and took World and Olympic silver over the same distance in 2007 and 2008, respectively, clocked an impressive 59:25.

It was the second fastest Half Marathon debut ever, behind only Moses Mosop’s 59:20 in Milan in 2010.

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