Athletics Athletics

Steeplechaser Kigen silences home boy El Bakkali in Rabat

Benjamin Kigen

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 13 – Kenyan Benjamin Kigen motored with 250m to go to win the men’s 3000m Steeplechase, beating home boy Soufiane El Bakkali who settled third at the Rabat IAAF Diamond League in Morocco on Friday night.

Kigen won in a World Leading time of 8:06.190 – a lifetime best for him, condemning El Bakkali to third in a Season’s Best of 8:09.58 while Ethiopian Beyo Chala was second in a Personal Best of 8:07.27.

Olympic and world champion Conseslus Kipruto disappointingly finished 12th in 8:27.36.

Morocco’s El Bakkali started well just behind the pacers and a few yards ahead of reigning Diamond League winner Kipruto. The pace was fast as the athletes timed 2:09 through 800m, with the pack strung out behind the pacers and leading racers.

The hot race took toll on Kipruto who moved backwards as El Bakkali, backed by the home crowd hit in front before being overtaken by Kenyan Amos Kirui.

Heading to the home straight, El Bakkali tried his very hardest to respond to the screams of the Moroccan crowd, but ultimately paid for the fast opening few laps. After dropping back he surged again to the front at the bell lap, but Kigen was biding his time to beat him and go all the way to the finish line.