Commonwealth Game: Kirui leads Kenyans in Steeplechase medal hunt

By DENNIS OKEYO: Tuesday, April 10th 2018 at 00:13 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya's Purity Cherotich Kirui (L) takes a water jump in the final of the women's 3000m steeplechase athletics event at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on July 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO

In the absence of Americans at the Commonwealth Games, Kenya's 3000m steeplechase charges will start as favourites in their quest for podium positions in the women's final tomorrow in Gold Coast, Australia.

Kenya's chase for glory will be led by the imperious Celliphine Chespol, 2014 Club Games champion Purity Cherotich, and the new kid on the block, Fancy Cherono.

Chespol, the current Under 20 World champion, is also the national national record holder following an impressive 8:58.78 run at the 2017 Prefontaine Classic.

She rose to stardom after winning the 2000m steeplechase title at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia.

The 19-year-old Kenya Prisons Service recruit won the World U20 3000m steeplechase title at the 2016 event in Bydgoszcz, Poland and finished third at the 2017 World cross country championships in Kampala, Uganda.

She was sixth at the 2017 London World Championships.

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Cherotich, the elder sister of World 800m bronze medallist, Kipyegon Bett, won gold in 2014 and is a 9:17.74 athlete.

The Kericho-based athlete has represented the country since 2009 when she finished fourth at the Africa junior Championships in Bambous, Mauritius.

She struck her first medal as a junior runner at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada.                         

[Dennis Okeyo]