14 FEB 2011 General News

Kombich clocks world leading 3:34.13 in Gent, junior Koech continues to impress

3:34.13 world leader for Ismael Kombich in Gent (Nadia Verhoft)3:34.13 world leader for Ismael Kombich in Gent (Nadia Verhoft) © Copyright

Gent, BelgiumKenyan Ismael Kombich clocked a world leading mark of 3:34.13 in the 1500m, one of the main highlights at the Belgacom Flanders Indoor Meeting in Gent on Sunday (13), the sixth meeting of the 2011 IAAF Indoor Permit Meeting series.

His compatriot Paul Kipsiele Koech set a new World Best performance in the 2000m Steeplechase in 5:13.77, smashing the former mark that he set in Gent last year by more than three seconds. Another World best mark was set by Isaiah Koech in the 3000m. No junior ever ran faster than the Kenyan’s winning mark of 7:37.50.

Kombich best of Kenyans in the 1500m

The pacemaking in the 1500m was very ambitious with Rueben Bett coming through in 1:52 at the 800m mark. Three Kenyans stayed with the pace : Kombich, Daniel Kipchirchir Komen and Brimin Kipruto, along with Belgian Kristof Van Malderen. When Bett injected more speed only Kombich and Kipchirchir Komen were able to follow. Kombich made it a long sprinting finish and crossed the line in 3:34.13, a world leading performance.

“I’m very happy with my performance today,” said Kombich. “It is not unexpected, because I trained very hard and things were going fine in training. And today I was assisted by my friend Rueben Bett who lead the race just perfectly. This summer my goals lie with the World Championships and with the Diamond League.” Komen improved his seasonal best to 3.35.16 while Kipruto cracked in the final stages and settled with 3:39.07.

World bests for Paul Koech and Isaiah Koech

It looks as if Paul Kipsiele Koech is getting better and better at the age of 29. The Kenyan has already deserved a lot of honours but he showing more guts and more ambition than he has ever done before. At the 1000m mark he was trailing behind his World best schedule of 2010. But from then on he started to run furiously to finish in 5:13.77, more than three seconds below the former World best mark in the rarely contested 2000m Steeplechase.

“It was my plan to try and run a very fast second part today and that did work well. I did not feel tired after my 5000m race in Düsseldorf last Friday (13:15.64). My secret is that I train hard and that I always try to take the best out of me.”

Isaiah Koech is definitely one of the sensations of the indoor season, after he posted a phenomenal 12:53.29 in the 5000m in Düsseldorf last Friday. Hardly looking tired, the 17-year-old produced another impressive race, this time over 3000m in Gent. Again supported by his compatriot Vincent Rono, the young superstar in the making made a decisive move at the bell to cross the line in 7:37.50, the best ever mark set by a Junior. Rono hung on and posted 3:37.87.

“I can hardly believe what is happening to me. In Kenya I prepared well and I had a lot of practice but now I am I’m competing at the highest level already. I was impressed that I was running alongside Eliud Kipchoge last Friday, who is a monument of distance running in Kenya. It was tough and maybe today I still felt a bit tired. Now I can only aim for the highest and set my sights at the World Championships in Daegu next summer.”

Wojciechowski improves to 5.86m

Twenty-two year old Pavel Wojciechowski from Poland raised his PB in the Pole Vault outstandingly to win the competition. The 2008 World junior silver medallist topped the bar at 5.86m, adding no less than 26 cm to his previous best. After needing three tries at 5.75m, Wojciechowski cleared 5.86m with his first attempt to move up to third in the world this year and show further promise to become a true world class pole vaulter.

Kévin Borlée misses World Best at 600m

European 400m champion Kévin Borlée failed to break the World Best mark at 600m today. Paced too fast by his twin brother Jonathan – unofficially intermediate times were 22.4 and 46.8 at 200m and 400m respectively – Kévin almost literally collapsed in the ultimate lap and reached the finish line in 1:15.65, 0.53 off the mark set by Nico Motchebon from Germany in 1999.

The strongest sprinting came from American Aries Merritt who took the 60m Hurdles in 7.53 ahead of Adrien Deghelt from Belgium who set a PB of 7.60. The Women’s 60m Hurdles was won by Danielle Carruthers of the USA in 7.89. Ruddy Zang Milama from Gabon took the 60m dash in 7.16 after clocking 7.15 in the heats.

Emphatic win and NR for Bolshakova in the Triple Jump


The local crowd turned out massively to support European bronze medal winner Svetlana Bolshakova in the Triple Jump. In her first attempt Bolshakova surprisingly jumped 14.15m, a new national record. “It was my first competition this year and I did not know what to expect, after having suffered from slight knee injuries,” explained Bolshakova. European champion Olga Saladukha from the Ukraine took the lead in the competition with a second attempt of 14.27m. But in her last attempt and carried by the roaring of the audience Bolshakova managed to jump 14.31m, the 6th performance in the world this year.

Ivo Hendrix for the IAAF

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