Jeruto upsets Chepkoech in Diamond League meet

By Dennis Okeyo: Saturday, June 15th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Norah Jeruto of Kenya reacts after winning the Women's 3000m Steeplechase during the IAAF Diamond League in Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway June 13, 2019. [Courtesy]

2016 Africa steeplechase champion Norah Jeruto produced a remarkable kick to upset World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and win her first Diamond League meeting in Oslo on Thursday.

Jeruto, 23, posted 9:03.7, a meeting record in the women’s steeplechase final to end Chepkoech’s unbeaten streak in the speciality.

Chepkoech, whose last loss came in Rome more than a year ago, took command at 1300 metres, with Jeruto shadowing her.

As the laps wore on, the order didn’t change, with Jeruto running confidently, seemingly waiting for the right moment to pounce.

That came in the final 100m. As she was passed, Chepkoech didn’t even try to respond, content with her eventual 9:04.30 seasons best.

In a quality race, Hyvin Kiyeng was third in 9:07.56 with world champion Emma Coburn fourth in 9:08.42.

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In another race featuring Kenyans, Nicholas Kimeli finished third in 7:34.85, his new personal best in men’s 3000m contest, an event won by Ethiopian Selemon Barega.

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei who did much of the leading, taking command just beyond the midway point, finished second in 7:33.26.

Meanwhile Moroccan capital, Rabat will play host to the sixth meeting of the Diamond League tomorrow night.

The world’s top five athletes in 800m track running will be led by Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir as he takes on Botswana’s Nigel Amos.

Other Kenyans in the 800m race include Jonathan Kitilit and Ferguson Rotich, former Diamond League trophy winner.

Korir, who recorded 1:44.50 earlier this year in Qatar has a grudge against Amos. The 23-year-old Kenyan remains the best at 1:42.05. However, strong challenge is expected from Kitilit and Rotich.

Another athlete to watch will be American Clayton Murphy, who won the inaugural edition of the Athletics World Cup and came second at the Continental Cup in 2018. 

With World steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto out, Kenya’s representative in the event include world Under-20 silver medalist Leornard Bett, Abraham Kibiwott and Nicholas Kiptanui Bett.

The Kenyans will face stiff competition from homeboy Soufiane El Bakkali who was narrowly beaten by a one-shoed Kipruto in the Diamond League Final last season.

The 23-year-old El Bakkali kicked off his 2019 Diamond League campaign with victory in Doha earlier last month.  

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