By Gilbert Wandera and IAAF
Nixon Chepseba led a Kenyan sweep in the 1,500m during Sunday’s IAAF World Challenge meeting at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.
Chepseba clocked 3:33.11 to win the race where four Kenyans clocked sub 3:34 times. Bethwell Birgen finished second in 3:33.41 while Caleb Ndiku finished third in 3:33.43.
In fourth position was Collins Cheboi who clocked 3:33.58.
In the 800m women race Pamela Jelimo won in a close finish with 1:58.68 from Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi/1:58.67).
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“I expected to run 1:56, but maybe my body was not ready or too tired,” Jelimo said. There was an Ethiopian victory in the 3,000m Steeplechase: Sofia Assefa ran 9:21.64 to deny Lydia Chepkurui (Kenya/9:22.27). Hiwot Ayalew (Ethiopia) was third with 9:25.29.
In the 800m men race Ethiopian Mohammed Aman continued to dominate over Kenyans when he beat Edwin Melly to second position in the race in a time of 1:43.62. The Kenyan clocked 1:44.36.
Aman had beaten word champion and record holder David Rudisha on Thursday during the final leg of the Diamond league series in Zurich.
Elsewhere, world marathon record holder Patrick Makau will take part in this Saturday’s metro 10k road race in Prague.
“As you know, I was truly delighted to be invited to Prague last year in autumn,” the 27-year-old Kenyan told IAAF.
“I’ve made some friends there so I am really looking forward to coming back. I consider the Metro 10K Race as a part of my preparation for the Frankfurt Marathon in autumn.”
Makau’s presence was welcomed by race organisers who pointed out that it will raise the profile of the event.
“Although he is a World record holder, his personal best in the 10 km (27:27, set five years ago in Berlin) is faster than the course record. So we’re expecting to see him go for it this time, even though his preparations are set on the Marathon,” Jana Moberly, Manager of Elite Athletes said.
After backing out of last spring’s London Marathon, Makau surprisingly didn’t make it into the Kenyan Olympic team.
“The thing that held me back wasn’t a muscle injury but rather an irritation to my sciatic nerve. I was able to resume training after taking a weeklong break. I underwent a few more days of treatment just to ensure that everything was fine,” added Makau.
Makau can expect a jam-packed schedule in the Czech Republic. Firstly he’ll be running alongside amateur runners in Prague’s Stromovka Park, followed by a visit to U´sti´ nad Labem.