Chepkoech storms to victory in Birmingham
Published on: August 18, 2019 06:00 (EAT)
Bernard Ndong in Birmingham Reigning women’s steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech warmed up for the national trials in Kenya slated for mid-September with a scintillating display of front running at the Birmingham Diamond League in the United Kingdom on Sunday. Chepkoech who leads the current Diamond League standings in her discipline surged to the lead from the onset and never looked back in the 11th stop of the diamond league series. Chepkoech, the 2018 Commonwealth silver medalist was tracked by Olympic silver medalist Hyvin Kiyeng and former junior World under- 20 champion Celliphine Chespol. Chepkoech had a 20m lead that was unassailable as the chasing pack struggled to match her blistering pace in the 7 laps race. Clearly, the battle was for the runners-up and Kiyeng who had maintained her second spot for almost three laps seemed to be losing her momentum allowing Chespol to dislodge her. In almost a ping- pong affair between the two Kenyans, Kiyeng regained her runners-up spot albeit temporarily but the pace was too steep for the 2015 World steeplechase champion allowing the advancing Chespol to upstage her in the final 40 metres. Chespol chased down Chepkoech who won the race in a meet record of 9 minutes 5.55 seconds. She was rewarded for her tenacity with a season best of 9 minutes 6.75 seconds while Kiyeng finished a distant fourth clocking 9 minutes 7.25 seconds. ” The race was good. I wasn’t sure I would be able to make the top two and so to do that is really great for me. I will have to give my all at the trials and see how things go there,” Chespol reacted after her second place finish. In the men’s 800m it was a painful loss for Alfred Kipketer who was on the verge of victory but he lost his grip in the two laps race, 20 metres from the finish line allowing a relentless Mark English from Ireland to deny him victory. The former world youth champion clocked 1 minute 46.10 seconds to finish second. Great Britain pair of Jamie Webb and Thomas Spencer finished third and fourth respectively Kenya’s sole High jumper Mathew Sawe finished third after three attempts with 2.23m leap The next round will be in Paris, France in six days time.