• This, being my first race and competing at home, a win was all I wanted but it was not easy,” said Kibiwott.
• Kimeli said he started in a low pace but picked up in the last three laps to secure the title following a push and pull with with a charging Betihu down the home-straight.
Commonwealth Games 3,000m silver medalist Abraham Kibiwott held off a stiff challenge from World Under 20 3,000m champion Leonard Bett to win the 3,000m steeplechase title at the Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour event at Nyayo stadium.
Competing in his first race since December due to the coronavirus-imposed break, Kibiwott battled tooth and nail to deliver the goodies after a disappointing Monaco Diamond League no show.
Kibiwott was ruled out of the Monaco Diamond League series after his training mate, world and Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto tested positive for coronavirus.
“I knew the race was going to be challenging after realising that I will face off with Bett, Geoffrey Kirwa and Amos Kirui. This, being my first race and competing at home, a win was all I wanted but it was not easy,” said Kibiwott.
“My training has been going on since December and it has yield good fruits,” said Kibiwott, who trains under coach Eliud Kirarei.
Bett on the other side was optimistic that he was going to win but that did not come true for the teenager from Kericho County.
“Running at home ground in such a highly-charged race was good and am satisfied with my results,” said Bett.
Nearly two weeks after setting a new world lead in 10,000m, Nicholas Kimeli won the men’s 5,000m title in emphatic style.
Kimeli, who set a 26:58.98 world lead at the Leiden Golden Spike in Netherlands, clocked 13:08.32 to overcome Ethiopia’s Betihu Argawi (13:08.91) as Africa junior 2,000m silver medalist Jacob Krop completed the podium in 13:11.88.
Kimeli said he started in a low pace but picked up in the last three laps to secure the title following a push and pull with with a charging Betihu down the home-straight.
“It was a tough race but the result was good. I thank God that I managed to come home with a win,” said Kimeli.
Kenyan export to Bahrain Nelly Jepkosgei edged out former world 800m champion Eunice Sum (2:03.73) and Eglay Nalianya (2:04.98), to win the 800m title in 2:02.07.
Namibia’s Beatrice Masiling and Jared Momanyi were the 400m winners in men and women's race respectively.
Masiling won the one-lap race in 50.99 ahead of Kenya’s Mary Moraa (51.99) and Leni Shida from Uganda in 52.77 while Momanyi won in 46.12, beating Nigerian Emmanuel Ojeli (46.49) and Ryan William (46.66) .