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Chepkoech sets Kenyan indoor 1500m record

Beatrice Chepkoech crossing the line in a Kenyan record 4:04.21 in Düsseldorf (Gladys Chai von der Laage) © Copyright

DÜSSELDORF, Germany, Feb 7- Beatrice Chepkoech took an impressive victory in the women’s 1500m at the Düsseldorf leg of the World Indoor Series on Tuesday to climb atop the Tour leader board in that event.

Well ahead at the bell (3:15.45), she forged on towards a 4:04.21 win, eclipsing Irene Jelagat’s Kenyan 4:05.17 Kenyan national indoor record set seven years ago.

The 26-year-old, better known as a steeplechaser, also took down a meeting record set by Maryam Yusuf Jamal 12 years ago.

Poland’s Angelika Cichocka, fifth in Karlsruhe, was second here in 4:06.35, a personal best.

Meanwhile, the men’s 1500m, not a point-scoring discipline, illustrated the perils inherent to the close quarters of indoor racing.

Running in his 2018 debut, world champion Elijah Manangoi looked comfortable and in command when he took the lead, some two minutes and 15 seconds into the race.

Then, Abdalaati Iguider made his move for the front midway through the penultimate lap, just beyond the 1200-metre point.

Manangoi took it back midway through the final lap’s back straight, but it was very short-lived. Passing the Moroccan on the outside, one runner clipped the other, sending Manangoi to the ground.

Iguider tumbled over him a split second later, knocking both out of the race.

Managing to side-step the carnage in front of him, Vincent Kibet ran to the win in 3:36.86, well clear of Ethiopian Aman Wote, who clocked 3:38.35.

In the men’s 3000m, Yomif Kejelcha powered confidently into the lead at the bell and held off Kenyan Bethwel Birgen to take the victory in 7:40.55 and the Tour lead with 17 points.

In an entertaining contest, Spaniard Adel Mechaal was third in 7:42.06 with Kenyan Davis Kiplangat, who was making his indoor debut, fourth.

The IAAF World Indoor Tour moves to Madrid on Thursday.