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World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech eases to victory in the 3,000m steeplechase race at the Kip Keino Classic on October 3, 2020. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Athletics

KIP KEINO CLASSIC: World record holder Chepkoech floors steeple field to cruise to victory

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech was peerless as she cruised to victory in the 3,000m steeplechase, flooring the entire field to finish in a time of 9:29.05, finishing ahead of former world champion Hyvin Kiyeng.

Chepkoech led from gun to tape, commanding the race with utmost ease and no one able to catch up with her.

Kiyeng, the 2015 World Champion clocked 9:34.07 to finish second while Rosephiline Chepngetich was third in 9:46.14.

“I am happy to win though my target was to run below 9:10. However, we could not do it because the weather was very tough today but all in all, I am pleased with how I ran. Finishing the season with a win at home is something good,” said the reigning world champion.

Chepkoech who hasn’t posted good results in the Diamond League this season wanted to ensure she made amends by winning at home. She maintained the same tempo from start to finish, keeping a 50m gap between her and second placed Kiyeng.

But in the men’s race, it was a contrasting image. Commonwealth silver medallist Abraham Kibiwot just but managed to beat pre-race favorite Leonard Bett at the line.

Kibiwot ran behind Bett throughout the race, but he used his momentum off the final barrier to great effect to kick to victory in 8:17.60, finishing 0.03 ahead of Bett, the 2017 world U18 champion and 2019 African U20 champion.

“I honestly didn’t think I would win today because this was my first competition of the season. It has been very tough training during the Covid-19 pandemic period and I just wanted to come here and try to get a good performance,” he said after the race.

Geoffrey Kipkemboi finished third in a time of 8:30.92 in his first ever race in the steeplechase.

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