BY KEITH MCGHIE
Purity Kirui gave further warning that the next generation of dominant Kenyan 3,000m steeplechasers had already arrived by leading her country to another 1-2-3, this time over the barriers, to add to the 10,000m clean sweep achieved 24 hours earlier.
The 22-year old Kirui, a former World Youth champion, claimed the notable scalp of world and defending Commonwealth champion Milcah Chemos, edging the closest of finishes in a time of 9:30.96, with another relative newcomer on the international scene Joan Kipkemoi taking bronze just over two seconds further back.
Kirui was the first to point out that Chemos is still nursing a troublesome right hamstring but that should not detract them from the latest quality performance of her burgeoning young career.
For much of the race, she controlled the pace, pushing on whenever the Australian contingent tried to disrupt the Kenyan medal quest in the early stages of the seven and a half lap plus race.
Kirui won the Kenyan national title in June but described her Commonwealth success as the “biggest win of her career to date” while already looking forward to the forthcoming African Championship in Morocco, where she will hope to add to her trophy cabinet and celebrate another gold on the day after her 23rd birthday on August 13th.
“I think we will all three do the African Championships and I now have confidence that I can do this again,” said Kirui, wrapped up in a Kenyan flag, partly in patriotic celebration and partly to ward off the another chilly night in Scotland.
Chemos, resigned to having to settle for second on this occasion, was not too downbeat, clocking her best time of what has been a troubled season.
The current Diamond League champion several times felt her right thigh while commenting: “I’m glad with the position because I am just back from injury.
“I was talking to my colleagues and saying that we have to start slow and push it when we see our opponents come up and we thank God that we managed to get all three medals.
“We were so happy to watch a Kenyan gold, silver and bronze in the 10,000m (just 24 hours beforehand) and we were determined to do the same.
“God willing, I will be fit to contest the African Championship (in Marrakesh from August 10-14) but it depends on my leg.
“It still hurts when I push hard.”
“We will see what happens there but she is still very young and I am not now.”
The successful Kenyan trio jostled for position with three Australians: Madeleine Heiner Genevieve Lacaze and Victoria Mitchell for much of the race, having dropped the home nations contingent early in the race.
But as the bell sounded Kurui, Chemos and Kipkemoi eased away to participate in their own private scrap for the medals, pulling the next five girls behind to seasons or personal best times in the process.
Kenya’s long jump hope Tera Kiplangat could manage only 7.45m and 11th place in the long jump final while sprinter Milcent Ndoro struggled in the blustery conditions and missed qualification for the women’s 200m semi-finals by 37 hundredths of a second.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke