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Kemboi leads medal sweep in steeplechase

Kenya’s 3,000 metres steeplechase runner, Ezekiel Kemboi on Monday became the first person to win the event’s World Championship title four times.

Kemboi who won in 8min,11.28secs immediately said he is dedicating the historic gold medal to three people.

“I am dedicating this medal to three people; first is (musician) Jaguar (Charles Njagua) for the work he is doing of saving the youth from the scourge of drugs, the other person is Mike Sonko who is my friend and he called me yesterday (Sunday) urging me to go for the gold and third is Mrs Ida Odinga for her (65th) birthday.

“I wanted to win this race to make history. I have done it and I am very happy,” he said before rushing to the changing rooms.

The win was Kemboi’s seventh straight medal at the World Championships, having won gold in 2009, 2011, 2013 and silver medals in 2003, 2005 and 2007

MULTIPLE WINNERS

Other multiple winners of the 3000m steeple chase event at Worlds are Moses Kiptanui 1991, 1993,1995, and Saif Saaeed Shaheen (formerly Stephen Cherono) of Qatar 2003 and 2005

For three times now, Kenyans have swept all three medals in the race. First it was the trio of Wilson Boit Kipketer, Moses Kiptanui and Bernard Barmasai in Athens (1997).

Then Brimin Kipruto, Ezekiel Kemboi and Richard Meetelong repeated the success in Osaka (2007). This year, Kemboi led Conseslus Kipruto and Brimin Kipruto to victory.

But it was not all celebration as some high expectations went up in smoke. The current Diamond League leader Jairus Birech stumbled at the last barrier and was overtaken by Brimin Kipruto to take bronze.

“I did not expect to be fourth but I hesitated at the last water jump, them stumbled at the last barrier and that is how Brimin overtook me”, Birech said who clocked 8:12.62.

“I am now concentrating on Diamond League series and I am going to Zurich to continue my defence of the (Diamond League) title. I have 16 points and I only need one point to win”, he said.

Brimin (8:12.54) said he was happy with the bronze medal, adding that he had no worries during the race despite American steeplechase Evan Jager giving Kenyans a scare.

NOT DIAMOND LEAGUE

“We did not worry about other runners hanging on with us since we knew this is championship not Diamond League,”, Brimin the 2007 World champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist said.

Conseslus who took silver yesterday in 8:12.38 and who was seeking to become the first World Youth Champion to win the Worlds after winning gold medals from World Youth, World Junior and World Championships, said he believes his day is coming.

“Maybe my gold medal will come from next year’s Olympic. I am now going to concentrate on training in preparation for the Olympics,” Conseslus said.

Americans Daniel Huling 8:14.39 and Evans Jager 8:15.47 took fifth and sixth positions respectively.