23 SEP 2007 General News

Men's 3000m Steeplechase

After a brief early show from Sweden’s Osaka fourth placer Mustafa Mohamed (ultimately finished, 8:20.33 – 7th place), the race became a one man display. Paul Kipsiele Koech, the fastest man in the world this year (7:58.80) took over and was never to be headed.

Tracking the 2004 Olympic bronze medallist were his Kenyan compatriots, Brimin Kipruto, the World champion from Osaka, and Richard Mateelong, the Osaka bronze medallist. Neither could make any impression on the 25-year-old who powered away off each barrier just as his margin of lead looked like it might be cut into.

The World champion led the chase until these two pursuers reached two laps to go, when Mateelong moved up to the shoulder of Kipruto and went past to engage his own solo effort to catch Koech. But his attack fizzled out within a couple of barriers as Koech moved relentlessly home to an 8:00.67 victory.

Mateelong held on strongly for second place (8:07.66) but Kipruto while retaining third (8:11.05) looked very heavily legged and was being fast caught by France’s Bob Tahri who crossed first (8:14.38) and yet another Kenyan Wesley Kiprotich (8:14.88) just behind in fifth.

Chris Turner for the IAAF