Friday, August 19, 2022

Kenya

AK National Trials: Budding Chepkoech is new steeplechase queen

World Under-20 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Jackline Chepkoech destroyed the fine field to win the 3,000m steeplechase and storm the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Chepkoech broke early to build on her lead to over 30 metres to win in nine minutes and 27.5 seconds on Saturday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Chepkoech cashed in on the absence of world champion Beatrice Chepkoech to triumph stunning former two-time world under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol to second place in 9:32.2.

Chepkoech and Chespol seal the first two automatic places in the team for the World Athletics Championships due for July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States and the Commonwealth Games planned from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, England.

Jackline Chepkoech clears a hurdle ahead of Celliphine Chespol

Jackline Chepkoech (left) clears a hurdle ahead of Celliphine Chespol during women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase final at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on June 25, 2022 in the Kenyan trials for the World Athletics Championships-cum-Commonwealth Games.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Beatrice is already assured of a place in the team by virtue of being world champion.

The 2013 Commonwealth Games champion Purity Kirui finished third in 9:36.0 but will now wait for Athletics Kenya decision to get the nod.

“I had prepared well for the race and I’m happy to be part of the team that will be heading to Oregon. I know it shall be a tight race and everyone has trained for the championship,” said Chepkoech. “I want to thank my coaches Patrick Sang and Richard Metto for the good guidance and nice programme.”

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