Kenya: Chepng'etich Sets New National Record in Florence Diamond League

Olympic 1,500 metres champion Faith Chepng'etich broke the national record Thursday night during the Florence Diamond League in Italy.

Chepng'etich clocked three minutes, 53.91 seconds to finish second behind Netherlands Sifan Hassan who won the race in a world lead time of 3:53.63.

Chepng'etich, who was running from behind, tried to surge forward in the final lap but Hassan held her own.

In the last lap, Hassan increased her pace towards the homestretch forcing Chepng'etich to settle for second position.

It was a repeat of the World Championships battle in Doha, Qatar where the Ethiopian-born Hassan bagged gold with Chepng'etich settling for silver in the 1,500m race.

In an earlier interview with Nation Sport, Chepng'etich who trains in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County said that she will be concentrating on the national trials ahead of the Tokyo Olympics where she is keen to defend her title.

"The season is tough but I will be looking forward to retaining my title in the Olympics and there is need for early preparations ahead of the games," she said.

In the 5,000m race, lone Kenyan Robert Koech emerged eighth in a personal best time of 13:12.56 in the race that was won by Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen who timed 12:48.45.

In the 3,000m steeplechase, Conseslus Kipruto did not finish the race with winner Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali running a world lead time of 8:08.54.

Many Kenyan athletes did not participate in the series due to the national trials that will be held next week at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi from June 17-19.

Athletics Kenya will use the event to select a strong team that will represent the country during the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan due July 23 to August 9.

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