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Chepkoech looks to maintain momentum in Torun meet

ATHLETICS By World Athletics | February 17th 2021 | 2 min read
Beatrice Chepkoech Sitonik is a Kenyan long-distance runner who specialises in the 3000 metres steeplechase. She is the current world record holder in that event running 8:44.32 in 2018. With that time she became the first woman to break 8:50 and 8:45. She was also a bronze medallist over 1500 metres at the 2015 African Games. [photo courtesy]

World 3000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech will aim to continue her record-breaking form when she heads to Torun for the Copernicus Stop today, the next World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting of 2021.

Chepkoech has also had a busy few weeks. The 29-year-old Kenyan won the 3000m at the first World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting of the year in Karlsruhe, then set an indoor PB of 8:34.21 for that distance to place third in Lievin before heading to Monaco later that week where she set a world 5km record of 14:43.

Three days on from her exploits on the roads of Monaco, Chepkoech will return to the track in Torun where she’ll be up against Genzebe Dibaba, the world indoor record-holder and three-time world indoor champion at the distance.

Dibaba’s last indoor 3000m race was at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, where she went on to complete the distance double by also taking gold in the 1500m.

Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech celebrates after winning in the Women's 3000m Steeplechase final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on September 30, 2019. [Photo by MUSTAFA ABUMUNES / AFP]

The Ethiopian has raced sparingly in the past 12 months, but she’ll be keen to maintain her indoor winning streak; not counting a disqualification in Dusseldorf in 2012, Dibaba’s last loss in an indoor race came more than 11 years ago.

Elsewhere, world 5000m silver medallist Selemon Barega has been using the indoor season to work on his speed by contesting shorter distances. So far he has been rewarded with PBs of 7:26.10 for 3000m and 3:34.62 for 1500m.

He lines up over 1500m in Torun against Kenya’s world indoor 3000m bronze medallist Bethwell Birgen. The meeting record of 3:35.57 looks to be a realistic target for the field.


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