Kibiwot digs deep to deliver Commonwealth steeplechase gold

Abraham Kibiwot was made to sweat before winning the 3,000m steeplechase gold at the ongoing Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium on Saturday.

Kibiwott had to weather strong challenge from India’s Avinash Mukund Sable to win in eight minutes and 11.15 seconds.

Mukund claimed silver in a Personal Best time of 8:11.20 as 2021 World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase Amos Serem grabbed bronze in 8:16.83.

Defending champion Conseslus Kipruto finished sixth in 8:34.98.

It was the third victory for Kenya at the Games with Ferdinand Omanyala (100m) and Jackline Chepkoech (3,000m steeplechase) having won gold in their respective events.

It brought to 12 the number of medals for Kenya; three gold, three silver and six bronze.

It was the first time Kenya failed to sweep all the podium places since 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.

“I am happy to finally win after I got silver in 2018. It feels good,” said Kibiwott adding that Kenya could have lost the title to the Indian if he had failed to inject in the pace.

“I know Mukund well from the World Athletics Championships in Oregon. He has beaten me once at some Diamond League race,” said Kibiwott explaining that he is now at peace after the Tokyo Olympic Games and World Athletics Championships disappointment. “I won’t rest until we have the Olympic and World titles back in Kenya,” explained Kibiwott.

“I thank God for bronze. It was a fast race but I am happy Kibiwott’s tactics worked otherwise it could have been bad. We thank God this far we have reached,” said Serem.

“My lower back problem recurred midway through the race hence I couldn’t push any further. I had to slow down,” said Kipruto. “It’s not a good performance but I am glad I finished the race. There’s nothing much you can do with an injury.”

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