Kemboi finally gets his Gold

Submitted by ATAF Editor on 18 August 2009 - 11:57pm

Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi stormed home in a new championship record of 8:00.43 to finally win the elusive gold in the men's 3000m steeplechase at the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

Kemboi won Olympic
in 2004, but had never managed to top a podium at the Worlds Championships coming second in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

Olympic bronze medallist Richard Kipkemboi Mateelong of Kenya takes silver in a personal best 8:00.89, with Bouabdellah Tahri of France taking bronze in 8:01.18, a new European record, ahead of another Kenyan Paul Kipsiele Koech, as France, for the second time in as many years, denied Kenya a steeplechase sweep at a major championship.

At the Beijing Olympics last year, another Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Bennabad sneaked onto the podium between Kenya's gold medallist Brimin Kipruto and bronze medallist Mateelong.

"I am very satisfied today, I won a silver medal. And again, I achieved a new PB. Our tactics was to stay together as long as possible. With only 50m to go, I had to let go Kemboi. But believe me, I am really rejoicing, said Kemboi.

"It is a great time for me here in Berlin. In 2003 I took silver in Paris, I took silver also in 2005 in Helsinki and in Osaka 2007 it was also silver, now it is golden Berlin. I stayed patient and I reached my target.

"My family supported me a lot and also my coach Moses Kiptanui. I knew that French runners were strong and it could have been even two medals for France. But I am glad we managed it with Mateelong."

About him wearing the Barcelona FC jersey, Kemboi noted: "I changed my T- shirt for the Spanish footbal dress. But I cannot say that I have some favorite footbal team. In every country I support different team."

Shockingly, Kenya's defending world champion and 2008 Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto faded away and finished seventh in 8:12.61 obviously suffering some discomfort.

Earlier, Morocco's Jamal Chatbi had withdrawn from the World Championship men's steeplechase final after testing positive for Clenbuterol in a doping test after the heats.

Meanwhile, Kenya's Olympic 800 metres women's champion Pamela Jelimo's hopes of adding world gold end in Berlin as she pulls up in her semi-final at the World Championships.