Kigen holds off Ethiopian duo for Rome victory


Athletics - Diamond League - Rome - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - June 6, 2019 Kenya's Benjamin ...
Athletics - Diamond League - Rome - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - June 6, 2019 Kenya's Benjamin Kigen after the Men's 3000M Steeplechase REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

In Summary

  • Kenyan athlete Benjamin Kigen framed out Ethiopian duo Gegnet Wale and Chala Beyo to win the 3000m steeplechase, a non-scoring event last night in Rome
  • Kigen lived up the expectations after breaking the tape in a world-leading speed clocking 8:06:13 with Ethiopian duo Gegnet Wale and Chala Beyo seizing the second and the third position in 8:06.13 and 8:09.95 subsequently

Kenyan athlete Benjamin Kigen framed out Ethiopian duo Gegnet Wale and Chala Beyo to win the 3000m steeplechase, a non-scoring event last night in Rome.

Kigen lived up the expectations after breaking the tape in a world-leading speed clocking 8:06:13 with Ethiopian duo Gegnet Wale and Chala Beyo seizing the second and the third position in 8:06.13 and 8:09.95 subsequently.

The race thrusted off on a high note with Kenya’s Nganga Benard and Wilberforce Kones setting the pace fashioning a 1-2 Kenya lead in the 22nd seconds before counterpart Kipsang Lawrance took the lead in 14:59.8 after sprinting from the 4th spot.

Ethiopian international Gegnet Wale took the lead in 5:49.5 with counterpart Chala Beyo taking the second position making the four front two Ethiopians and two Kenyans.

The field started to get strung out and by the final lap, Kigen managing to be part of the three -man pack lead after framing out foil Kipsang.

The 25-year old started to oven his way to the lead in the last lap claiming the second position in 7:12.3 edging out Beyo and only left with Wale to task.

Kigen took the prime in 7:30:8 and furnaced his strides to finish the race in 8:06:13, leaving Gegnet Wale to conclude the race on a 70 milliseconds deficit.

Kipsang Lawrence Kemboi finished fourth clocking 8:15.68 while Kipyegon Barnabas finished 9th clocking 8:20.12.

However, Kenyan athletes failed to light up Rome after falling to shine in 5000m men’s race, 800m men’s race and 1500m Women’s race which Kenyans have frequently liberated.

Chebet Winny finished 10th in the 1500m race concluding the race in 4:03.86 with Ethiopian international Genzebe Dibaba taking the lead after clocking 3:56.28.

Ethiopians managed to stage a 1-2-3 sweep in the 5000m race leaving Kenya’s Edward Zakayo to claim the 7th position after clocking 13:03.19 which makes it his personal best (PB). Haile Bekele topped the log after clocking 12:52.98 with fellow nationals Barega Selemon and Gebrhiwet Hagos finishing second and third clocking 12:43.04 and 12:54.9 respectively.

Brazier Donavan from the USA managed to finish the 800m race ahead of Botswana’s Nigel Amos clocking 1:43.63 with Amos securing the second position by concluding the race in 1:43.65. Kenyans managed to come forth after Ferguson Cheruiyot clocked 1:44.11 and fellow national Kinyamal Wycliffe finishing in the 6th position.

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Story By Stephen Kiprop
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