Capital FM (Nairobi)

30 August 2012

Kenya: Chemos, Kiplangat Rise As King David Falls

Nairobi — Despite the rain falling on the David Rudisha parade, Milcah Chemos and Isaiah Kiplangat soared to Diamond League glory on Thursday night in Zurich.

Commonwealth and African 3000m women steeple champion, Chemos, retained her Diamond Trophy in the most dramatic of fashion after Ethiopia's Olympics bronze winner, Sofia Assefa was disqualified for lane violation.

Kiplangat, a fifth finisher in London and former world junior title holder was the only Kenyan to win the circuit jackpot outright on the night when he completed a polished triumph over a loaded men 5000m field in 12:58.98.

For the Olympic, world and Continental Cup champion Rudisha, Zurich was further evidence that the only thing that can mow down the master of men two-lap running is not his fellow mortals but the weather as the wet conditions killed off his latest attempt at beating his own standard.

Having dominated his distance since 2010 when he first set the world record in Berlin and Rieti, Rudisha fell to the teenager in his last race of the season for the second successive year.

In his first outing since smashing his own world record at the London Olympics earlier this month in the scarcely unbelievable solo 1:40.91 effort, Rudisha rolled to Zurich in pursuit of further history as the first three-peat winner of the Diamond League top honours.

His trusted rabbit that he re-united with Sammy Tangui went through the opening lap in 49.59sec that was well off of the world record pace the Olympic champion had requested.

Rudisha motored to the lead and looked on course to complete a routine victory until Aman caught up with him as they came for the final bend and left him dry on the homestretch to claim victory in a career best meet record of 1:42.53 against the Kenyan's 1:42.81.

The result in front of his coach Bro Colm O'Connell mirrored his ability to choke in foul weather in following the semi-final of the 2009 Worlds in Berlin and Rome Grand Prix last year where Aman ended his 26-race winning streak.

For Chemos a disastrous trip over a hurdle as the bell approached looked to have put paid to her hopes of salvaging her season after failing to medal in London.

She looked in prime position to clinch a top-two berth that would have guaranteed her a successful defence and the $40,000 (Sh3.360m) pay-out as she took the lead with one and a half laps to go as she fought off Ethiopian rival and Olympics bronze winner Assefa.

However, disaster struck when she was caught in the final hurdle before the bell and she fell hard on the track, knocking the stuffing out of her as she limped home in tenth (9:35.67)

Assefa had taken advantage to romp to the line in 9:21.32 to lead what would have been a first ever steeplechase podium sweep by Ethiopians as Etenesh Diro (9:24.97) and Hiwot Ayalew (9:26.09) followed suit in second and third.

However, her performance was chalked off after a review by judges found her to have stepped outside her lane handing Chemos, who had 12 points heading to the final the title as Diro was elevated to the win in a meet record.

World Youth champion Hyvin Kiyeng (9:29.70) was promoted to the bronze position.

In the men 5000m, Kiplangat timed his finish to perfection edging out Olympics bronze winner and compatriot, Thomas Longosiwa (12:58.98) to emerge the undisputed winner of the 3000m/5000m men Diamond Trophy.

Kiplangat took charge as they came for the bell and had only the furiously finishing Longosiwa for company as American Bernard Lagat powered through in a late flourish to settle for third in 12:59.32, his year best.

World junior 3000m gold winner, Faith Chepng'etich also fell in the women 1500m although she was not in contention for the trophy and the $40,000 (Sh3.36m) jackpot reserved for series winners.

More history for Yego

Zurich also marked a milestone for the country when Olympics finalist and continental record holder, Julius Yego, became the first African to compete in the men's Javelin at the elite circuit.

He returned a commendable fifth finish with his third legal through of 78.74m in a competition won by Finland's Tero Pitkamaki with 85.57

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