Men’s 3000m steeplechase final
Reigning champion Conseslus Kipruto on Friday upstaged Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma in a photo-finish to retain 3000 metres steeplechase gold medal at the World Championships in Doha.
Kipruto won in 8 minutes and 01.35 seconds whjich was a world leading time, followed by Girma (8:01.36) and 2014 African champion Soufiane El Bakkali from Morocco who timed 8:03.76 to take bronze.
The other Kenyans in the race, 2019 African Games champion Benjamin Kigen (8:06.95), Abraham Kibiwot (8:06.95), and World Under-20 silver-medalist Leonard Kipkemoi Bett (8:10.64) finished sixth, seventh, and ninth respectively. Kipruto Girman, 18, to the finish line to win in a photo finish, beating Girma by a hundredth of a second.
“The Ethiopians (Girma and Getnet Wale) teamed up to stop me,” he said. Wale finished fourth. I went to the front and waited to kick but they also changed tack and went to the front. Then I decided to keep up with them at that quick rather than fall behind and wait for the other Kenyans because I had looked back to signal to them to charge forward but they were way behind,” Kipruto said.
So close was the race that moments after finishing the race, Girma and Kipruto anxiously watched the giant screen inside the stadium as they waited to learn their fate.
Men’s 1,500m semis
At the same time, World and Commonwealth 1,500 metres silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot beat his opponents in Doha on his way to qualifying for the final.
Cheruiyot timed 3 minutes, 36.53 seconds to win the first semi-final heat to qualify for the final alongside Kenya’s Ronald Kwemoi who timed 3:36.53 to finish second in the second heat to qualify for the final which will be held on Sunday from 7.40pm.
Cheruiyot, who is seeking to upgrade the silver medal he claimed at the 2017 World Championships in London, yesterday said they employed a strategy of running from the front to escape pushing and shoving from their opponents.
“There was a lot of pushing and shoving in the heats, so we decided to go ahead of the field to avoid such incidences,” the athlete, who finished fifth in the 2013 World Championships in Beijing, told Nation Sport in Doha last night.
Cheruiyot won ahead of 2012 Olympic champion Toufik Makhloufi from Algeria who timed 3:36.69, and Great Britains’ Neil Gourley (3:36.69). Kwemoi finished second in his semi-final heat behind Lewandowski (3:36.50) but ahead of third-placed Ingebrigtsen (3:36.58).
Men’s walk race
Japan’s Toshikazu Yamanishi is the 20km race walk champion after clocking 1:26:34 in Doha on Saturday.
Russia’s Vasiliy Mizinov, who is competing as a neutral athlete, was second in 1:26:49 while Swedish Perseus Karlström took bronze in 1:27:00. Kenya’s Samuel Gathimba finished 32nd in 1:40:45 in his debut at the World Championships.
The Kenyan, who took bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth games in Gold Coast, found the going tough at the global event in Doha. Yamanishi’s victory was the first ever in the event by a Japanese athlete in the world event.
World 5000 metres champion Hellen Obiri will be out to defend her title at the World Championships in Doha on Saturday. She will compete in the final of women’s 5,000m race on Saturday from 9.25pm with fellow Kenyans Lilian Kasait and Margaret Chelimo.
Obiri, who had contemplated pulling out of women’s 5,000m race just minutes after finishing fifth on Saturday in women’s 10,000m race will be in tonight’s race.
“I have recovered well from the 10,000m race. The 10,000m race proved tough and I subsequently contemplated pulling out of 5,000m race, but I changed my mind and competed to see how my body would react,” Obiri, who ran from the front to win the semi-final heat in a time of 14 minutes, 15:13 seconds on Wednesday, said.
Obiri, who finished fourth in IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels on September 6, carries the fastest time this season of 14:20.36 which she set in at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London. Olympics silver medallist Obiri won the first heat in 14:15:13 to qualify ahead of American Karisa Schweizer (14:52:41).
The 2015 world javelin champion Julius Yego takes to the field in the qualification round of men’s javelin at 4.30pm on Saturday. Yego, who is also Team Kenya captain at the 2019 World Championships, is again hoping to lead from the front in the final. Yego has said his immediate target is to hit the qualifying mark of 83m as he launches his title campaign in his fourth appearance at the global championship.
“I am eager to get to stadium and to get started. On Saturday (today) I will compete in the opening round and I hope I get my technique right, and to hit the qualifying mark of 83 metres and to give it my best come the final on Sunday,” the athlete, popularly known as ‘YouTube Man’ said.
Yego, with a personal best of 92.72m, faces defending champion Johanes Veter from Germany who has a personal best of 94.44 metres, and European silver medallist Andreas Hofmann who has won two IAAF Diamond League meetings this season in Monaco and Shanghai.
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