Timothy Cheruiyot shines in Brussels, Belgium

Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot celebrates after winning the Men's 1500m race during the IAAF Diamond League competition on September 6, 2019, in Brussels. [AFP]

World 1500m silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot landed his third consecutive Diamond League trophy in a dominant display on Friday night in Brussels as other Kenyans flopped in the final leg of the season. 

The pacemakers, led by Cheruiyot’s training mate Timothy Sein, brought the field through 800m in 1:51.48 and 1000m in 2:20.5 with Cheruiyot tucked close behind them. 

With little more than a lap left, Cheruiyot had a six-metre lead over the chase trio comprising Norwegian duo of Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Filip Ingebrigtsen and Ronald Musagala of Uganda.

Jakob overtook his older brother to move into second place with 200m to go and at one point it seemed as though he may catch Cheruiyot, but the world silver medallist was far ahead.

Cheruiyot won in 3:30.22, the fastest time at the King Baudouin Stadium since 2003. Jakob took second place in 3:31.62 with Filip finishing third in 3:33.33 and Musagala fourth (3:33.90).

“It was a great race, I got it tactically right from the start. To come here and defend my title means a lot to me. I’m grateful for the support and now, my focus shifts to World Championships in Doha.

“My aim is to finish in better position than I got in London two years ago,” Cheruiyot said.

With Cheruiyot’s victory, Kenyans only managed two Diamond League trophies following World steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech’s win in Zurich last week. 

In the other results of the night featuring Kenyans, world 5000m champion Hellen Obir finished in a disappointing fourth position as Margaret Chelimo and national 10,000m Champion Agnes Tirop finished 5th and 6th respectively in a race won by Netherlands Sifan Hassan who claimed her second victory just eight days after securing the 1500m title in Zurich.

In men’s steeplechase, Kenyan athletes have won every men’s steeplechase title since the start of the IAAF Diamond League in 2010, but missed out on the title after Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale timed his finish to perfection to win this year’s trophy. 

Kenyans Benjamin Kigen was fourth in 8:10:76 with Abraham Kibiwott sixth place.

Defending champion Conseslus Kipruto was seventh. 

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