Wednesday, 17 May 2017 17:09

Chepkoech defends KPS steeplechase title

Olympian and former 1,500m All African Games bronze medalist Beatrice Chepkoech retained her Kenya Police Service (KPS) 3,000m steeplechase crown as competitions entered Day 2 at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday.

Chepkoech dominated the race from the gun, maintaining a lead of about 50m ahead of her closest challengers through to the tape. The Antistock Theft Unit (ASTU) police officer took top podium place in 9:50.6.

“I hope to lower my personal best so I can make it to the podium during the IAAF World Athletics Championships in August. Last year I upgraded from 1,500 to 3,000m steeplechase and Rio Olympics was my first event which I finished fourth in the finals,” Chepkoech said.

The 25-year-old enjoyed a motivational start to her season during the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Uganda where she teamed up with former 1,500m Olympics and three-time world champion Asbel Kiprop to win the inaugural mixed relay gold medal.

“I feel more cofident after clocking 9:01.57 which was about two seconds behind world champion Hyvin Kiyeng. As for now I’m preparing for Eugene Diamond League at the end of the month,” she underscored.

Guest Abigael Chelangat ran 10:16.6 for second, denying Ann Gathoni of KPS Eastern region who clocked 10:20.4 to settle for third.

In the other events, World silver medalist Elijah Managoi punched his ticket for Thursday’s 800m finals while his younger brother George Managoi secured his place in the 1,500m finals.

Managoi participated in the 800m in search of extra speed as he anticipates on setting a personal best at the 1mile event at the DL meet Eugene next week.

“I feel I have the endurance this time so I’m only focusing on stepping up my speed. But what I know is that I’m in good shape though we still have a lot of work to do with my coach Bernard Ouma,” Managoi who was forced out of the Rio Games through injury said.

Olympics silver medalist and world champion Julius Yego is among a couple of stars expected to grace the event when it draws to a close on Thursday.