Mixed fortunes

Kenyan runners posted mixed performances in the Rabat Diamond League on Sunday.
Former Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist, Jairus Birech was placed second in his speciality after clocking 8:10.91. Home favourite Soufiane Elbakkali won the race in 8:05.12 while Amos Kirui (8:12.18) was third. Abraham Kibiwott (8:16.25) completed the top four places.
Another Kenyan Lawrence Kemboi was tenth in 8:32.27 while Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto failed to start the race. World junior 800m champion Kipyegon Bett was second in the two-lap race in 1:44.28, behind former Olympic silver medallist, Nigel Amos, who ran 1:43.91. This was the second win for Amos, who is currently preparing for the World Championships. Donovan Brazier of the United States clocked 1:44.62 to place third while Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich (1:45.26), Nicholas Kiplangat (1:45.37) and Robert Biwott (1:45.75) placed fourth, sixth and seventh respectively.
The men’s 1,500m was a Moroccan affair as they swept the top three positions. Brahim Akachab took the honours in 3:35.03 while Fouad Elkaam (3:36.26) and Younes Esslahi (3:36.90) were second and third respectively. The top Kenyan in the event Vincent Letting finished a disappointing fourth in 3:37.96 while former World Under 20 champion Kumari Taki placed fifth in 3:39.52. Franklin Ngelel was the highest placed Kenyan in men’s 3,000m in position eight after clocking 7:42.56. Edwin Soi was ninth in 7:43.20 with Collins Cheboi tenth in 7:45.13.
Bethwell Birgen finished 11th in 7:47.28 while Vincent Kibet was 12th in 7:50.54. The race was won by crowd favourite Abdalati Iguider in 7:37.82 as Spainiard Adel Mechaal (7:38.35) and Morocco’s Soufiyan Bouqantar (7:38.65) took the second and third positions respectively.
Kenyans also played second fiddle in the women’s 1,500m as Nelly Jepkosgei (4:04.93) and Judy Kiyeng (4:05.20) were relegated to the eighth and ninth positions respectively. The race was won by Angelica Cichocka of Poland in 4:01.93 with Rababe Arafi of Morocco second in 4:02.19. Brenda Martinez of the United States placed third in 4:02.75.
Norah Jeruto settled for second place in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, posting 9:20.51, behind Germany’s Gesa Krause, who clocked 9:18.87. Another Kenyan Rosefline Chepng’etich was third in 9:20.69 with Purity Kirui coming home fifth in 9:25.55. Caroline Tuigong placed seventh in 9:39.00 as Ann Gathoni 10th in 10:02.4.

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