Tokyo Olympics: Kenyans through to 3,000m steeplechase final

Abraham Kibiwott

Kenya's Abraham Kibiwot (right) wins ahead of second-placed Ethiopia's Getnet Wale (left) and third-placed Italy's Ahmed Abdelwahed (centre) in the men's 3000m steeplechase heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 30, 2021.

Photo credit: Giuseppe Cacace | AFP

What you need to know:

  • With Olympics champion Conseslus Kipruto out of the Games with injury, the trio have the herculean task of ensuring the gold medal, which Kenya has won in each Olympics contests since the 1984 Los Angeles Games, remains safely in the country.
  • Ethiopia's World silver medallist Lamecha Girma, who is one of the favourites for the gold, also qualified for the final here at the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

In Tokyo

The battle for the Olympics 3,000 metres steeplechase gold started early Friday with the two Kenyan representatives Abraham Kibiwott and Benjamin Kigen sailing through to final.

Leonard Bett, winner of the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympics in 8:17.26, finished fifth in Heat 3 which was won by Morocco's Sofioune El Bakkali while Kibiwot easily won Heat 2 in 8:12.24 ahead of Ethiopia's Getnet Wale.

Abraham Kibiwot

Kenya's Abraham Kibiwot reacts after winning in the men's 3000m steeplechase heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 30, 2021.

Photo credit: Jewel Samad | AFP

Bett failure to qualify for the final was a huge shock.

With Olympics champion Conseslus Kipruto out of the Games with injury, the duo has the herculean task of ensuring the gold medal, which Kenya has won in each Olympics contests since the 1984 Los Angeles Games, remains safely in the country.

Ethiopia's World silver medallist Lamecha Girma, who is one of the favourites for the gold, also qualified for the final here at the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

Girma won Heat 1 in 8.09.82, Japan's Ryuji Miura was second while Kigen settled third to complete the automatic qualifying places.

Lamecha Girma

Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma (right) and Kenya's Benjamin Kigen (left) compete in the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 30, 2021.

Photo credit: Javier Soriano | AFP
Getnet Wale

Kenya's Abraham Kibiwot (right) and Ethiopia's Getnet Wale (second right) compete in the men's 3000m steeplechase heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 30, 2021.

Photo credit: Giuseppe Cacace | AFP

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