Praught denies Chespol to win GC2018 steeplechase gold


Jamaica's Aisha Praught wins the athletics women's 3000m steeplechase final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth ...
Jamaica's Aisha Praught wins the athletics women's 3000m steeplechase final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN

In Summary

  • Jamaica won a rare middle-distance gold as Aisha Praught timed her burst to perfection to outsprint pre-race favourite Celliphine Chespol to end Kenya's hold on the 3000m steeplechase title at the Commonwealth Games
  • Kenya had clinched podium sweeps at the previous two editions of the quadrennial showpiece in Glasgow and Delhi but hopes of another such feat were shattered as Praught clocked 9:21.00 to win ahead of Chespol (9:22.61) in a dramatic final lap

Jamaica won a rare middle-distance gold as Aisha Praught timed her burst to perfection to outsprint pre-race favourite Celliphine Chespol to end Kenya’s hold on the 3000m steeplechase title at the Commonwealth Games.

Kenya had clinched podium sweeps at the previous two editions of the quadrennial showpiece in Glasgow and Delhi but hopes of another such feat were shattered as Praught clocked 9:21.00 to win ahead of Chespol (9:22.61) in a dramatic final lap.

Purity Kirui, who won gold at Glasgow 2014 when she led Milcah Chemos and Joan Kipkemoi to a Kenyan 1-2-3, stopped the timer in 9:25.74 to take bronze as she relinquished her title.

Chespol, the Africa Cross Country champion, revealed she had not expected Praught to take the race bragging rights but was happy to win her first senior medal.

“I’m happy with the silver; I was heading for the top podium place but I slowed down in the last water jump where Praught took advantage and went for it.

“I was not able to catch up with her since I had not done enough speed work but when I go back I’ll work on it as I prepare for the Diamond League races,” Chespol said.

Despite surrendering her Glasgow title, Kirui said she was happy she had not gone home empty handed.

“I do not know what happened. I had prepared well and discussed on how to approach the race as a team to ensure we do not lose another title.  I tried to kick but my body did not respond.

“When I saw the Jamaican closing in on Chespol I tried calling her to warn her but I think it was too late. We are going to do a post-mortem of the race to see what we did wrong,” Kirui offered.

Fancy Cherono, 17, who ranked sixth in the race said she was a ‘little bit’ disappointed for missing out on the podium places but was pleased having set a new personal best of 9:46.27. Her focus turns to the World Under-20 Championships slated for July 10-15 in Tampare, Finland.

So far Kenya has a total of six medals; three silver and three bronze medals with hopes of getting more medals form the men’s 400m hurdles where Beijing World champion Nicholas Bett and his brother, the Africa bronze medalist Aron Koech are the headline acts. Wycliffe Kinyamal and Jonathan Komen will lead the Kenyan hunt in the 800m final.

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