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Chepkoech breaks Kenya 1500m indoor record

Beatrice Chepkoech wins the 1500m at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Dusseldorf on February 4, 2019. PHOTO/World Athletics

DUSSELDORF, Germany, Feb 5 – Steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech bounced back from a disappointing fourth place finish in Karlsruhe to clinch the Dusseldorf leg of the World Indoor Tour on Tuesday while breaking the Kenyan 1500m indoor record.

Chepkoech crossed the line in 4:02.09 clipping 0.12 off the previous national record and also setting the fastest time in the world this season over the distance.

The world record holder was clearly the dominating force in the race, upping the tempo as she broke away from the pacesetter with three-and-a-half laps to go. Only Axumawit Embaye, the winner in Karlsruhe, gave chase.

But Chepkoech was relentless, clicking off nearly identical laps of 32.07 and 32.05 over laps five and six. The seventh, nearly a second quicker at 31.25, cushioned the Kenyan’s lead and ultimately put it out of reach.

Embaye’s persistence was rewarded with a 4:02.96 season’s best for second, earning her enough points to maintain her lead in the Tour standings. Winnie Nanyondo was third in 4:06.13, a national indoor record for Uganda.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Vincent Kibet finished third in the men’s race clocking 3:39.49 in a race won by Norway’s Filip Ingebrigtsen who clocked 3:36.32 win.

In the 3,000m, Bethwel Birgen failed to make it three in a row after he finished third behind Ethiopian youngster Selemon Barega after a gutsy battle over the final lap.

Running in his season’s debut, Barega powered past the Kenyan as they entered the straight to take a convincing win in 7:35.71, another world lead, indoor personal best and meet record.

His Ethiopian compatriot Getnet Wale snuck in for second in 7:36.03 with Birgen, the winner in the Boston and Karlsruhe legs, next in 7:36.21, a personal best.

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