Kenyans dominate long distances, Cubans sweep triple jump

11:16, May 15, 2010      

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Against the evening heat of 31C, Kenyan athletes dominated both the 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase while Cuba had a clear sweep of triple jump at the inaugural IAAF Diamond League which kicked off on Friday.

In the men's 5,000m, Eliud Kipchoge, the 2003 world champion, and Vincent Chepkok demolished a strong field, with Kipchoge prevailing in 12:51.21 to be the world leader. Chepkok was just a stride back, clocking 12.51.45, a career best by four seconds.

World Cross Country champion Joseph Ebuya, another Kenyan who vowed earlier to beat 12:50 barrier in Doha, struggled for most of the race and finished well back in 13:33.37, ninth among the 12 finishers.

Alexis Copello, the 2009 world championships bronze medallist, led a Cuban 1-2-3 sweep in the triple jumps thanks to his final round 17.47m effort, a meeting record and yet another world lead.

Like their compatriot, David Girat (17.29m) and Yoandri Betanzos (17.22m) reached their best efforts in the final round. The trio were the only jumpers in the eight-man field to soar past the 17-meter mark.

The most peculiar race of the evening was the men's 3,000m steeplechase when top four places were occupied by the Kenyans.

Pace setters David and Patrick Langat ran ahead of the pack for the first three minutes. Once David concluded his chores, Langat continued running for the victory, and in the end nearly succeeded.` Langat wasn't caught until some 300 meters remained, when he was passed first by Ezekiel Kemboi, and then by Paul Kipsiele Koech. The two battled it out in the waning stages before Kemboi, the world champion, pulled away in the last 50 meters to win in 8:06.28 to Koech's 8:06.69.

Langat was third in 8:09.12, an improvement on his personal best by more than 10 seconds.

Source: Xinhua


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