NAIROBI, KENYA, Apr 11- Jamaican Aisha Praught dug deep into her energy reserves in the final 300m as she upset 2015 World Under-18 and 2016 World Under-20 champion Celliphine Chespol to the 3,000m gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia on Wednesday.
Chespol looked to be heading into Kenya’s first gold medal at the Games but she burnt out to see the Jamaican steam away from her at the final water jump before blazing the track to win in a time of 9:21.00.
The Kenyan just managed to hang on for silver timing 9:22.61 while compatriot and defending champion Purity Kirui came home third for bronze clocking 9:25.74.
The other Kenyan in the race Fancy Cherono came home sixth in a new Personal Best time of 9:46.27.
The two medals now add Kenya’s tally at the games to five with Edward Zakayo (5,000m bronze), Beatrice Chepkoech (1500m silver) and Samuel Gathimba (20km walk bronze) having started the hunt earlier.
In the steeplechase where Kenya has been known to be a force to reckon, Kirui took duty of dictating the tempo in the first three laps of the race with Chespol and Cherono breathing on her neck, the Jamaican Praught just lurking in the vicinity.
With three laps to go, Chespol decided to inject some pace into the race and moved away from the pack with Praught following her lead, Kirui and Cherono falling behind.
The two leaders ran close to each other with Chespol enjoying a 30-metre gap at the bell which she hoped would be enough to carry her through the finish line first.
However, she began to tire off towards the final bend and once the Jamaican followed her into the water jump, all the signs of an upset were visible.
Praught’s long strides galloped her past Chespol who didn’t have a responding kick, and the Jamaican was equally amused when she crossed the finish line first.