Noah Kibet, Abel Kipsang shine in Doha Diamond League
What you need to know:
- Kenyans had little to offer against Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali from Morocco, who won men’s 3,000m steeplechase in a world leading time of 8:09.66.
World Indoor 1,500m bronze medallist Abel Kipsang and World Under-20 800m silver medallist Noah Kibet on Friday claimed their maiden Diamond League victories in Doha.
Fresh from winning the men's 1,500m at the Kip Keino Classic, Kipsang, 25, clocked three minutes and 35.70 seconds to win the men's 1,500m, relegating 2020 Tokyo Olympics 1,500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot to second place.
Cheruiyot, the 2019 World 1,500m champion, timed 3:37.06 to relinquish the title he won for the first time last year to Kipsang, a fourth place finisher at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Kipsang stayed in front all through the race to hit the bell shoulder-to-shoulder with Cheruiyot. Kipsang would hit the gas cylinders with 200m to go to as Cheruiyot staged a futile chase.
“It was a good race and I hope to keep improving as the year unfolds,” said Cheruiyot.
Other Kenyans Kamar Etiang and Charles Simotwo finished fifth and seventh in 3:38.74 and 3:39.18 respectively.
Kibet stayed upfront at the bell and never looked back to sweep to victory in 1:49.08, beating Australian Peter Bol and Marco Arop from Canada to second and third places in 1:49.35 and 1:49.51 respectively.
“It feels so good to win, I didn’t expect it. Special thanks to my manager for this opportunity,” said Kibet, who was delighted to witness many Kenyans support him in Doha. “I look forward to the World Championships in Eugene.”
Tokyo Olympics 800m silver medallist Ferguson Rotich finished fifth after clocking 1:50.48.
Earlier, Burundian Francine Niyonsaba edged out Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngétich with a sprint finish in the women’s 3,000m race.
Niyonsaba cruised to a world leading time of 8:37.70 as Chepng'étich came second in 8:38.05.
Kenyans had little to offer against Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali from Morocco, who won men’s 3,000m steeplechase in a world leading time of 8:09.66.
El Bakkali edged out Ethiopian Lemecha Girma in a sprint finish to second in 8:09.67.
Kenya’s Abraham Kibiwott, who had just won at Kip Keino Classic, came third in 8:16.40 while compatriot, Olympic 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist Benjamin Kigen settled sixth in 8:23.65, just behind Leonard Bett in 8:21.64.