Kiyeng third as US clinch shock steeplechase 1-2

(From bottom L) US athlete Emma Coburn celebrates with US athlete Courtney Frerichs as Kenya's ...
(From bottom L) US athlete Emma Coburn celebrates with US athlete Courtney Frerichs as Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi (topC), (from top L) Bahrain's Ruth Jebet (topL) and Kenya's Celliphine Chepteek Chespol (top R) look on after the final of the women's 3000m steeplechase athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 11, 2017. US athlete Emma Coburn won ahead of US athlete Courtney Frerichs and Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi. / AFP PHOTO / ANTONIN THUILLIER

Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs pulled a rabbit out of the hat on Friday night as the duo clinched an unexpected American 1-2 in the women’s 3000m steeplechase final to eclipse a rich field at the Olympic Stadium in London.

Coburn, an Olympic bronze medallist, timed a championships record of 9:02.58 to finish ahead of team-mate Frerichs who ran a personal best of 9:03.77.

The upset performance left Hyvin Kiyeng’s title defence bid fall in tatters with the Kenyan sealing the last available podium place  in 9:04.03.

Beatrice Chepkoech finished just outside the medal bracket in fourth (9:10.45) like she did at the Rio Summer Games last year as Olympic champion and world record holder Ruth Jebet completed the top five.

Jebet, a Kenyan-born Bahraini, led for the majority of the race but was dropped as the bell went.

World Junior Championships title-holder Celliphine Chepteek Chespol finshed sixth in 9:15.04 as Commonwealth Games champion Purity Cherotich Kirui (9:25.62) finished further behind in tenth.

Chepkoech took an early lead, making it a fast race as her teammates tucked behiind.

There was drama in the first water jump as Chepkoech forgot to go over the barrier and had to go back and do it right.

Chepkoech managed to recover and move to the chasing pack of six as Jebet took charge of the race from the front.

Chespol, Chepkoech and Kiyeng kept close tabs on their former compatriot as they progressed in a steady pace.

At the bell, Chepkoech and Kiyeng surged ahead as Jebet faded off and back out of the medal positions.

The Kenyan duo held on at the front but not for long enough as their American counterparts powered down the home stretch to record a memorable 1-2 for their country.

-Men 1500m assault-

After advancing to the finals, defending World champion Asbel Kiprop hopes to lead compatriots; World silver medalist Elijah Managoi and Timothy Cheruiyot in picking all the available medals in the men’s 1500m on Sunday.

Managoi won the first heat of the semi-final in 3:40.10 ahead of Kiprop (3:40.14) who is going for the fourth world title.

In the second heat, Cheruiyot comfortably secured a place as one of the 12 men who will line up for the final after clocking 3:38.24 behind Jakub Holusa ( 3:38.24) of Czech Republic.

Africa Championships bronze medalist Ronald Kwemoi who was battling with injury, ended his medal quest after crossing the line in 3:38.47 at ninth place.

History is likely to repeat itself in the women’s 800m final – also set for Sunday – after last year’s Rio Olympics Games medalist all sailed through.

Kenyan Margaret Nyairera (2:10.19), will line up against South African Caster Semenya (1:58.90) who already has a bronze from the 1500m and Burundian Francine Niyonsaba (2:01.11) at 10:10pm in search for the top podium place.

On Saturday, Rio silver medalist and defending world champion Julius Yego will be up against the Germans led by Thomas Rohler in the men’s javelin throw final at 10:15 pm.

Yego’s compatriot Cyrus Rutto will be on the track moments later seeking to end Kenya’s 12-year gold medal drought in the men’s 5000m event at 10:20pm.

Saturday, August 12 (Kenyan time)

10:15pm M Javelin Throw Final

10:20pm M 5000m Final

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Story By Charity Wanja
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