Chepkoech now seeks to lower her best time after running a solo race
Keith McGhie in Doha, Qatar
Newly-crowned global 3000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech says she is determined to break her own world record but it might be easier if her rivals were closer.
Chepkoech, outstanding at the discipline since clocking the fastest-ever time - eight minutes, 44.32 seconds at Monaco in July last year, dominated the IAAF World Championship final at Doha’s Khalifa Stadium on Monday to come home over four-and-a-half seconds clear of the USA’s 2017 winner Emma Coburn, with Germany’s Gese Krauser third.
The 28-year-old from Bomet, broke clear of the field early on and quickly created a length of the straight lead as no one else was capable of staying with her metronomic pace.
Team-mates Hyvin Kiyeng and Celliphine Chespol were prominent among the chasing pack for a long time, with both Coburn and Krause being pulled to new personal bests and National Records, despite the huge deficit to Chepkoech, who went on to claim a new Championship best time of 8:57.84. She explained:
“I knew that the track was fast from the heats so I knew it was possible to run a new championship record.
“I went out quickly as when you are in front you just concentrate on the hurdles but if you are in the middle of the field it is easy to get tripped or stumble.
“This is my second time under nine minutes this year and I do want to lower my own world record.
“That is one of my goals next year as I prepare for Tokyo.
“I’m not going to do cross country during the winter and just concentrate on preparing for 3,000m steeplechase with maybe running a few 1,500m.
“Of course, when you have someone competing close to you, it pushes you and would make it easier to lower the world record but there is nobody around.”
Chespol, still only 20 and, like Chepkoach, among only five women to have registered times under nine minutes, pulled off the track with just over two laps to go, whilst 27-year old Kiyeng, the 2015 World Champion, struggled to the finish in eighth place before collapsing and needing to be helped form the arena.