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STATUS QUO REMAINS: Kenya retain clean sweep record at Club Games

By JONATHAN KOMEN in GLASGOW | July 31st 2014
Clean sweep for Kenya in Women’s 3,000m steeplechase in Glasgow as Purity Kirui (c) wins gold, Milcah Chemos (Silver) & Joan Kipkemoi (Bronze -L).

The 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships 3,000m steeplechase champion was no match to other competitors in the water and barriers race on Wednesday night here at Hampden Park Stadium.

Cherotich, who completed Form Four at Kericho's athletics-rich Kiptere Secondary School in 2009, gave Kenya a night to remember when she orchestrated another podium sweep a day after her Kericho County athlete Joyce Chepkirui staged a brilliant sweep in women's 10,000m.

Cherotich, who had long been trying to secure a silverware in senior ranks, lived up to her promise that the finish line would make a difference in a athletics life time.

Despite frantic efforts as a senior, Cherotich had not reflected the brilliant shows she displayed while in junior ranks.

The runner, who trains at Sigowet Athletics Club in Kericho County, dictated the pace alongside defending champion Milca Chemos and new catch Joan Kipkemoi even as home-girls and Australian opposition kept on surging.

Chepkirui, who won IAAF Beijing Grand Prix  this season and with a season 9:25.68, deployed the after burners with a killer sprint in the final lap to win in 9:30.96 – and true to her flight dream to Glasgow to win the first jewel in senior ranks.

Cherotich, a former bronze medalist at the Africa Junior Championships, chalked up the win ahead of world champion Milcah Chemos, who settled for silver in 9:31.30 in an exciting medal night harvest for Kenya here in front of  more than 44,000 spectators.

Joan Kipkemoi, who trains with Faith Chepng'etich in Keringet in Kuresoi, sealed Kenya's top-three spots that saw Kenya maintain rhythm 1-2-3 sweep as they did in 2010 New Delhi Games when Chemos led Mercy Njoroge and Gladys Kipkemboi into podium sweep. Australians Heiner Madeline (9:33.34) and Lacaze Genevieve (9:37.04) came fourth and fifth, posting personal bests each.

Cherotich,  coached by Japhet Kemei under Brussels-based firm Golazo Sport, said: "I now feel relieved that after three years of soul searching, I finally have a medal in the senior level. We planned this race well and since Milca Chemos was sick, we decided to slow the pace to enable her pick on well. Our main aim was to win all the three medals. I now focus on the 2015 World Championships (in Beijing, China)."

Cherotich came fourth in Shanghai, second in New York and fifth Eugene before winning the explosive national trials. Chemos, who is married to former 1,500m runner Alex Sang and live in Kesses in Eldoret, said: "I feared the tall Australian athletes would beat us. I have never competed against them."

Chemos, who comes from Trans Nzoia County, said: "I am happy running a personal best time here (9:31.30) despite the nagging hamstring injury. I hope the injury will get better ahead of the Africa Championships and to compete in one Diamond League meetings."

Kipkemoi, who came to Glasgow as an underdog won her maiden medal, said: "We will plan better to face off Ethiopia. Coach Charles Ng'eno (in Keringet) gave me winning tips before I came here." [email protected]

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