NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech put up some suicidal pace before holding on to win the Zurich leg of the IAAF Diamond League in 9:01.71, leading a Kenyan 1-2-3-4 sweep in the women’s steeplechase and land the coveted Diamond Trophy in the process.
Chepkoech who has won three of her five Diamond League races this season won the most important of the circuit as she led from gun to tape in a perfect warm up ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Doha next month.
Winning the Diamond Trophy comes with a winner’s purse of Sh5mn (USD 50,000).
Former World Champion Hyvin Kiyeng finished second in a season’s best time of 9:03.83 while 2017 World Under-18 champion Norah Jeruto came in third in a time of 9:03.71. Daisy Jepkemei finished fourth in a personal best time of 9:06.66.
After just one lap, Chepkoech who employed the same tactics in breaking the World Record in Monaco last year decided she was going to run her own race and dropped pace maker Caroline Tuigong and decided to control the race herself.
She pushed to a sizeable gap of almost 30m with World Champion Emma Coburn, Jeruto and Kiyeng stuck on her tail.
With 1,000m to go, Kiyeng decided to pump up the pace and took second spot dropping Jeruto and Coburn as she looked to catch up with the world record holder. At some point it seemed she would succeed, but at the bell, the plan fell like a pack of cards.
Chepkoech pushed further to widen the gap that had sunk to almost 15m to comfortably win the race.