Conseslas Kipruto, Ezekiel Kembo, Jairus Birech
ATHLETICS

IAAF worlds: Conseslas Kipruto bags third gold for Kenya

American Evan Jager took over the lead at the 2,000m mark in 5:35.66 minutes with Kipruto, defending champion Ezekiel Kemboi and Moroccan Souffiane Elbakkali in hot pursuit.

Jager, the Olympic 3,000m silver medallist, hit the bell in the lead at 7:11.50 but Kipruto injected some pace to the race at the home straight.

The Kenyan, who had won silver medals at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, had the luxury of teasing the field and waving to the packed arena before winning in 8:14.12. Elbakkali went for silver in 8:14.49 as Jager claimed bronze in 8:15.53.

Kemboi, who was out to claim a record fifth title, finished 11th in 8:29.38. He retired from the track after the race.

It was Kipruto’s second gold medal in just a year after his exploits at the Rio Olympic Games where he won in a Championship Record time of 8:03.28.

It was also Kenya’s 12th World steeplechases title in a dominance pioneered by Moses Kiptanui, who won the first title for Kenya at the
1991 Tokyo Championships before strolling to a record hat trick in 1993 Stuttgart and 1995 Gothenburg.

Kipruto, 22, said he woke up in high spirits, telling himself that he had to do something good, him being the Olympic champion.

Kipruto, who won the 2011 World Youth and 2012 World Junior titles in the steeplechase and ranks second on the all-time junior list with 8:01.16.

Kenyan-born Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar holds the World Record of 7:53.63 in Brussels.

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