NAIROBI, Kenya, August 1st – As with the men, Kenya will also have two representatives in the final of the women’s obstacle course at the Olympic Games.
Kenya’s third representative at the Games, Purity Kirui, failed to make it to the final after finishing fifth in her run.
Kiyeng won the third run in a time of 9: 23.17, while Chepkoech finished third in her run, despite running faster than Kiyeng at 9: 19.82.
Kiyeng controlled her race, sticking to the front from gun to tape. At the final water hurdle, she was in the lead in a group of five, everyone who looked like they were going to get one of the top three automatic qualifying spots.
However, she turned out to be the stronger of the five, stayed at the front and won ahead of the Slovak Marusa Mismas-Zrimsek. The Ethiopian Mekides Abebe was third in a time of 9: 23.95.
The run was the fastest with fourth and fifth placed Victoria Constien from the USA and Britain’s Elizabeth Bird, who could not qualify automatically.
Beatrice Chepkoech overcomes one of the hurdles. PHOTO / Reuters
Meanwhile, Chepkoech had to sprint the last 30 meters to make sure she was in the top three finishers in Heat Two.
The world record holder stayed in the lead for most of the race but occasionally lost a place or two. At the bell, the American Courtney Frierichs increased the pace, raced away and opened a gap of 10 meters between her and Chepkoech.
She didn’t look like she was going to accelerate and crossed the finish line first in 9: 19.34. Second was the German Felicitas Krause in 9: 19.62 after she had pulled away from Chepkoech after the last hurdle.
However, the Kenyan managed to make it into the top three, just before Zerfe Wondemagegn from Ethiopia and Luiza Gega from Albania, neither of whom could qualify automatically.
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