Milcah Chemos of Kenya in the heats of the women's 3000m Steeplechase (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Daegu, Korea

Women's 3000m Steeplechase Heats - Chemos on cruise control

Milcah Chemos the world's leading 3000m steeplechaser for the last two summers only had to extend herself once when comfortably qualifying for Tuesday's (30) final.

The 25-year-old Kenyan who established her reputation when outsprinting Russia's World record holder Gulnara Galkina to grab the bronze medal at the last Championships in Berlin, never broke sweat until the final 80 metres.

Then last year's Samsung Diamond League overall winner who has already guaranteed a repeat success this season with five out of five victories on the global international track and field tour, attacked the final barrier to cross the finish line in 9:35.61.

That thwarted the ambitions of Russia's Yuliya Zaripova who after leading through the first two kilometres in 3:13.65 and 6:26.18 had attempted to psyche out the world leader with a sustained increase in pace over the final 200.

But Chemos who had ran virtually on the heels or alongside the 2009 Berlin silver medallist and last year's European champion, attacked going into the final barrier to open win by a small margin of 0.19.

Germany's European junior gold medallist Gesa-Felicitas Krause chased the pair hard to lower her personal best by 0.14 to 9:35.83 while the World junior record holder Birtukan Adamu from Ethiopia took the remaining automatic qualifying place in 9:37.31.

The first heat saw Binnaz Uslu christen the event of the Daegu 2011 track with a Turkish national record mark of 9:24.06 all the more remarkable coming so quickly after her performances at the World Student Games.

The 26-year-old winner of the 5000m and Steeplechase in Shenzhen, China, last week - and both with personal best times - showed no signs of tiredness after those exertions when towing the field through the first kilometre in 3:07.39.

Habiba Ghribi, in Beijing three years ago the first woman from Tunisia to reach an Olympic final, then hit the front and towed a pack of five through the second split in 6:14.35.

However down the final straight 26-year-old Uslu oozing the strength which saw her claim last December's European Cross Country silver medal edged marginally ahead to defeat Ghribi by 0.50 with Kenya's Commonwealth silver medallist Mercy Njoroge and Moroccan record holder Hanane Ouhaddou progressing with times of 9:24.95 and 9:25.96 - the latter's a season's best.

After that opening heat there was a polished display from this year's world No. 2 Sofia Assefa who in a very slow run heat used her speed over the final circuit to win in 9:32.48.

Before her spurt Ethiopia's national record holder had been quite happy just to follow the USA's Emma Coburn through the first kilometre in 3:15.93 although herself at the head of a five strong pack when passing the second in 6:26.66.

Then it was plain sailing for the winner of the SDL leg in Birmingham last month where Chemos did not compete. Her powerful attack after piling on the pace with a final kilometre of 3:05.83 saw her eliminate the challenges of her rivals.

Lydia Rotich took second for Kenya in 9:36.70 with Portugal's Sara Moreira last summer's European 5000m bronze medallist and a plucky Coburn making it into Tuesday's final with times of 9:36.97 and 9:38.42.

Birtukan Fente from Ethiopia, European bronze medallist Lyubov Kharlamova and Great Britain's Barbara Parker made the final as fastest losers.

David Martin for the IAAF