KARLSRUHE, Germany, Jan 30 – Kenya’s Bethwell Birgen and Beatrice Chepkoech were both victorious over 3000m at the first World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting of 2021 in Karlsruhe, Germany on Friday, but they went about it in different ways.
Birgen took off in the final kilometre, having been paced through 2000m in 5:06.44.
His lead looked insurmountable with a couple of laps to go, but Spain’s Mohamed Katir started to make up significant ground in the closing stages.
Birgen held on, though, and won in 7:34.12, moving him into the top 10 on the Kenyan indoor all-time list. Katir was rewarded with a huge PB of 7:35.29, nine seconds faster than this outdoor best.
While Birgen ran solo for last kilometre, Chepkoech had company over the final few laps.
The steeplechase world champion and world record-holder controlled the pace in the second half and maintained a consistent tempo.
With one lap to go, Britain’s Melissa Courtney-Bryant tried to make a move, as did Fantu Worku, the 3000m winner in Karlsruhe last year.
But Chepkoech managed to hold off both challenges and crossed the line in 8:41.98. Worku was second (8:42.22), just ahead of Courtney-Bryant (8:42.41).
–By World Athletics