Former world steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng from Kenya warmed up for the Olympic Games, which begin later this month, with another stirring performance at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday.
Kiyeng won the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in 9:03.82 defeating world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, who came in second in 9:04.94, for the second time in less than a week.
In the previous Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, Kiyeng shattered the meeting record to win the race in 9:04.34 while Chepkoech finished a distant third.
Monaco was the venue of Chepkoech’s world record in 2018 but, despite searching for inspiration from the scene, she yet again came up short against Kiyeng.
The 29-year-old Kiyeng’s dominant performances in the run-up to the Games make her a strong contender to improve on her second place finish in the Rio Games in 2016 and win gold in this year’s event.
Kiyeng’s compatriot and reigning Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon beat 2019 world champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands by more than two-and-a-half seconds to win the women’s 1,500m in a Kenyan record 3:51.07.
27-year-old Kipyegon, who returned to competition in 2019 after taking two years off for the birth of her daughter, said she feels like a role model for young mothers and young athletes.
“When you go for maternity leave, it does not mean the end of your career, you can come back strong and win races,” Kipyegon said after the race.
Elsewhere, 1,500 men’s world champion Timothy Cheruiyot continued his strong performances after a disappointing fourth place finish in the Kenyan Olympic trials by winning his event in a world leading time of 3:28.28. It was Cheruiyot’s second straight win in the event after similar success in Stockholm last week.
The 25-year-old Commonwealth Games silver medalist also eclipsed his own world leading time of 3:30.48 at the Doha Diamond League in May.
Cheruiyot is yet to know whether he will be included in the team to Tokyo less than two weeks to the start of the Games.
Meanwhile, Botswana’s 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos also ran a world-leading time of 1:42.91 to claim victory in the men’s 800m, while Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir came in second.
For the second meeting in a row, Côte d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josée Ta Lou finished second in the women’s 200m, this time clocking 22.25 seconds behind the winner Shaunae Miller-Uibo of Bahamas who won in 22.23 seconds.
Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma won the men’s 3,000m steeplechase in 8:07.75 finishing ahead of Abraham Kibiwot of Kenya & France’s Djilali Bedrani.
South Africa’s Akani Simbine (9.98) finished second in the men’s 100m which was won by Ronnie Baker of the United States who won in 9.91.
The next event in the calendar will be the Gateshead (London) Diamond League meeting on July 13.