Paul Kipsiele Koech of Kenya on his way to victory in the 3000m Steeplechase (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Ostrava, Czech Republic

Kipsiele Koech returns to Ostrava for fifth time - IAAF World Challenge

Kenyan Olympic steeplechase bronze medallist Paul Kipsiele Koech will return for the fifth time in his career to Ostrava for this year’s 50th Ostrava Golden Spike - IAAF World Challenge meet on 31 May.

The inaugural Diamond Race winner for his event in 2010, Kipsiele Koech will have one main target: "I want to attack the meet record (8:06.14) achieved by Wilson Boit Kipketer back in 2002. And I think I should run as close as possible to 8 minutes," said Kipsiele Koech.

He won in Ostrava in 2008, was second in 2003, third in 2009 and had bad luck in 2006 when leading and the bell was rung one lap too early (he re-started his race, but that was already only enough to be disqualified).

During the last indoor season Kipsiele Koech improved the unofficial World best of the 2000m Steeplechase to 5:13.77 and before Ostrava he plans to run only one important race, the Samsung Diamond League in Shanghai.

Double World 400m Hurdles champion (2007 and 2009) Kerron Clement of USA will face strong opposition in European gold medallist Dai Greene and current world season leader LJ Van Zyl of South Africa. Organisers are hoping that first sub 48 at Czech territory might be possible.

"I'm really excited to be coming back to Ostrava this year. Your fans are the best and I can't wait to put on a great performance for you guys," commented Clement. He is planning to open his season at the Jamaica Invitational on 7 May  in Kingston (IAAF World Challenge) and then will be running in Rome at the Samsung Diamond League meet, where he’ll also meet with Greene and Van Zyl.

Another Rome duel will be repeated in Ostrava in the women’s Javelin Throw. Top Czech athlete Barbora Spotakov, the World record holder, will face her Russian rival Mariya Abakumova, the World bronze medallist. Their head-to-head balance is 10:6 in favour of Spotakova. In Ostrava they met once before, in 2009 Abakumova was better (66.89). Both can attack the meet record 67.72 (Christina Obergfoll in 2008).

Organisers for the IAAF