By AYUMBA AYODI
Kenya’s Jairus Birech, Eunice Sum, Mercy Cherono and Silas Kiplagat wrapped up their 2014 Diamond League season in style by clinching the overall series titles in their respective events on Friday in Brussels.
Birech and Sum only needed to present themselves in the final of their 3,000m steeplechase and 800m races respectively to claim the Diamond Trophy and a bonus of US$40,000 each (Sh3.5m) while Cherono and Kiplagat had to wait until their last races to know their fate.
Their performance made it five the number of Kenyans to have won overall titles in the 2014 Diamond League after Caleb Mwangangi in 5,000m.
COMPLETED A HAT-TRICK
Indeed, Cherono, who is a two-time World Junior 3,000m, completed a hat-trick with victory in women’s 3,000m, clocking 8:28.95, beating Sifan Hassan from Denmark and World Indoor 3,000m champion Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba in 8:29.38 and 8:29.41 respectively.
The women’s 3,000m and 5,000m events were lamped together. Cherono, who is the World 5,000m silver medallist and Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion, winning three events in 3,000m in New York, Laussane and Brussels while Dibaba won the 5,000m races in Rome and Monaco.
Cherono amassed 22 points, beating Dibaba to second place with 12 points. Cherono said it has been a great season for her as she thanked her coach Claudio Berardelli. “Success is key to happiness and vice versa. If you love what you are doing and you work hard you will be successfully,” said Cherono.
Birech, who is the Africa champion, has simply been phenomenal this season. The Commonwealth Games silver medallist was emphatic in his display, gliding to his sixth consecutive victory in a World Lead time of 7:58.41.
London Olympics silver medallist Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad came in second in 8:03.23. Other Kenyans World silver medallist Conseslus Kipruto was fifth in 8:16.72 while Brimin Kipruto sixth in 8:16.90. Birech collected 26 points with Brimin coming in second with five points.
Coutesy of nation.co.ke