Athletics Athletics

Kipruto, Chemos, Choge impress in Ostrava


MILCAH-CHEMOSNAIROBI, Kenya, June 28- The well-oiled Conseslus Kipruto machine continued to stream roll the competition as Milcah Chemos celebrated a stadium record in the Kenyan double steeplechase win at the Ostrava Golden Spike IAAF Challenge Meeting on Thursday night.

There had been talk of a potential World record in the men’s 3000m Steeplechase, but World junior champion Kipruto was left with too much work to do and had to settle for victory in 8:11.27, more than 13 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

The World Junior champion racked up his fourth win on the bounce to add the Ostrava crown to the Diamond League victories in Shanghai (8:01.16/PB), Pre Fontaine (8:03.59) and Oslo (8:11.27) to further underline his status as the runner to beat in the men’s water and barriers event.

Ethiopia’s Gari Roba (8:24.30) and Uganda’s Timothy Toroitich (8:27.34) closed in ahead of Kenya’s Wilson Maraba (8:28.21) to share the podium with the steeplechase phenomenon.

In the women’s equivalent, Chemos, the two-time Worlds bronze medallist capitalised on confusion to clinch victory in a meet record of 9:17.92.

Pacemaker Valentyna Zhudina dropped out just before a barrier, which threw the concentration of the athletes behind her.

Ethiopian trio Fente Birtukan, Hiwot Ayalew and Etenesh Diro all crashed into the barrier, allowing Chemos to steal a march and move into the lead.

Ayalew caught up with the Kenyan, but ran out of gas in the home straight as Chemos kicked ahead to win as Hiwot clocked a season’s best of 9:19.87 in second. Purity Kirui stopped the timer at 9:26.50 for third.

Fresh from bagging the national 1500m title, 2006 Commonwealth 5000m gold winner, Augustine Choge, primed perfectly for an assault at the distance during the July 13 Trials for Moscow Worlds when he achieved his season best 13:06.37 for second.

Featuring in the race was revered Ethiopian distance running great, Kenenisa Bekele, the man Choge had set sights on last week who set the 10,000m world record at the same track in 2004.

Kenenisa was out-classed in the final lap inviting thoughts that his time as a force on the track was nearing its end since he was trying to make his country’s team for Moscow at the distance having failed to nail a place in the longer 10,000m.

Fellow Ethiopian Muktar Edris, the World junior champion over the distance, put in an impressive kick on the final lap to open up a significant gap over the rest of the field.

The 19-year-old set a PB of 13:03.69, almost three seconds ahead of Choge as Bekele wound up fourth in 13:07.88 behind another Kenyan, the US educated former collegiate runner, Lawi Lalang who posted 13:07.13.

Lawi is a younger brother of Commonwealth 800m champion, Boaz Lalang.

London Olympics runner, Anthony Chemut was the best placed Kenyan in the men 800m race won by Ethiopia’s World Indoor titleholder, Mohammed Aman in 1:43.78.

Aman bided his time before sprinting away from the field in the final 60m as three other men dipped under 1:45 – Andre Olivier (1:44.45), Chemut (1:44.69) and compatriot Ferguson Rotich (1:44.93) in fourth.

Viola Lagat clocked a career best 4:05.66 for third in the women’s 1500m race.