NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12- Olympic Champion Conseslus Kipruto showed the mark of a true leader guiding Abraham Kibiwott and Amos Kirui to a podium sweep in one of the most amazing 3,000m steeplechase finals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia on Friday.
Kipruto, a World champion clocked 8:10.08, setting a new Commonwealth Games record and win the only global medal that was missing in his decorated cabinet.
Kibiwott won silver in 8:10.62 while World Junior champion Kirui bagged bronze after clocking 8:12.24.
Kipruto constantly took time to charge his mates, even at some point managing to clap Kibiwott through when the 21-year old seemed to tire off, but the most exciting finish came through Kirui in a dive for bronze.
Kirui had been dropped off by his compatriots with 300m left running behind Canadian Mathew Hughes but seeing his mates upfront dancing to the one-two, Kirui dashed in the final 50m to just nick in the bronze.
Kipruto showed intent early, taking charge of the race in what looked like a meticulously planned out pre-race tact. Ugandan Albert Chemutai and the Canadian stuck on the shoulders of the Kenyan three, looking for an opportune time to cause an upset.
Kibiwott took charge of the lead with two laps to go with Conseslus breathing on his neck.
At the bell, Kipruto sprung to the front and signaled both Kibiwott and Kirui to follow in his trail with the two men from Uganda and Canada like ticks refusing to be shaken off.
With 300m left, Kirui, the 2016 World Junior Champion began to tire off with the Canadian coming in between Kipruto and Kibiwott.
But knowing he has a devastating final kick, Kipruto’s concern was ensuring that his team-mates are in medal positions. He slowed down the pace at the final water jump, signaled Kibiwott to move to his left and shield any space for the Canadian to come through.
Noticing his mate was tiring off, Kipruto cheered him on, urging him to keep the pace. Once it was clear that gold and silver was secure, the Olympic champion looked up, kicked in and went for the gold while Kibiwott came home for silver in a time of 8:10.62.
Behind them, a humongous fight for bronze was on with Hughes, clearly out of gas struggling to hold on for bronze.
Kirui piled up his last ounces of energy before putting on the afterburners and passed the Canadian a metre to the finish line.