Kemboi equals steeplechase record


MOSCOW — Ezekiel Kemboi laid claim to being the greatest steeplechaser of all time on Thursday as the extrovert Kenyan won a record-equalling third 3 000 metres steeplechase world title at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.


The 31-year-old two-time Olympic champion — sporting a new Mohican hairstyle and who danced stylishly in celebration — equalled compatriot Moses Kiptanui’s record as he coasted to victory.

“It’s good to be the king,” smiled the never shy 31-year-old.

Kemboi, who also has three world silvers, could well win a record fourth in two years time, but the all-time record haul of world titles in all events will be beyond him.

Despite the final being packed with veterans it was 21-year-old Jehue Gordon who won gold in a thrilling finish, American Michael Tinsley having to add this silver to his Olympic one.

Gordon’s gold was only Trinidad and Tobago’s second ever world title — Ato Boldon having won 200m gold in 1997.

“The victory will change my life, but not me as a person,” said Gordon.

The championships have yet to see a world record fall, but Ukrainian Bohdan Bondarenko at least gave the noisy young fans from his country reward with gold in the high jump with 2,41 metres.

He then had a tilt at the world record, but Cuban legend Javier Sotomayor’s 20-year-old mark of 2.45 metres refused to fall.

Nevertheless, the 23-year-old Bondarenko vowed it would one day soon.

“I was fighting with the bar, not with my rivals,” Bondarenko said, explaining he had been partly forced into what he called “adventurism” by a foot injury which prevented him from jumping as much as he might have liked in the competition.

“I knew I had to jump high and I did it. I’m sure I’m capable of setting the new world record sooner or later and I hope it will be pretty soon.”

Bondarenko looks set to dominate his event for years to come and the same might well be true of Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen, who gave her country their first ever world title in the women’s triple jump.

“I am so proud to make history for my country, it means a lot to me and to Colombia,” said the 29-year-old Olympic silver medalist.


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