NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Kenyans had a good day in office at the season opening Diamond League in Doha, Qatar on Friday, recording World Leads, but it was the World Under 20 Cross Country champion Beatrice Chebet who stole the limelight.
Chebet, who is also the 5000m World Under-20 champion floored seasoned athletes including reigning world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri to win the 3000m race in a Personal Best time of 8:27.49.
Running the race as an underdog, Chebet timed very well and waited when it mattered most with only 300m to go when she unleashed her power to gear past Obiri who was leading and cross the finish line with a World Leading time.
Obiri, the Olympics silver medallist faded to fourth in a time of 8:33.98, behind compatriot 5000m Africa Games champion Lilian Kasait who clocked 8:29.02 to settle for third while Commonwealth Games silver medallist Margaret Chelimo was second in 8:28.96.
All the top five positions were occupied by Kenyans and its by upsetting the big wigs that saw Chebet win the best female performance of the meet award ahead of the likes of Jamaican superstar and two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who won the women’s 100m.
Other Kenyans who registered World Leads are world champion Timothy Cheruiyot who won 1500m in 3:30.48, Norah Jeruto in the women’s 3000m steeplechase returning 9:00.67 and Commonwealth Games champion Wyclife Kinyamal who dominated the men’s 800m in 1:43.91.
1500m Olympic Champion Faith Kipyegon opened the race with victory in the 800m, clocking a season’s best time of 1:58.26.
The race was a good warm up for Kenyans ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games which are 56 days away.