Kenyans, Nigerian queen excel in Monaco Diamond League athletics meet

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - World and Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop and Nixon Chepaeba are among the Kenyan athletes who excelled in the Monaco League of the IAAF Diamond League in Monaco Friday night.

Also on the honours roll was the Nigerian queen of the tartan tacks, Blessing Okagbare, who defied a stiff challenge from American opponents to claim the women's sprints gold medal.

Kiprop, also the African 1500m champion, clocked 3:28.88, followed by Chepseba in 3:29.77. New Zealand's Nicholas Willis was third after clocking 3:30.35.

Kenyans also dominated the men's 3000m Steeplechase, won by Conselus Kipruto in  8:03.49, followed by  Paul Koech who clocked 8:03.90. Evan Jager of the US returned 8:06.81 to finish third.

The men's 800m was also dominated by the East Africans even in the absence of world record holder (1:41.01) David Rudisha also of Kenya.

Abraham Rotich won the two-lap race in 1:43.13, followed by compatriot Leonard Kirwa (1:43.40), while Solomon Duana of the United States finished third in 1:43.44. Sudan's Abubaker Kaki finished a disappointing ninth in 1:44.89.

Another pair of Kenyans -- Mercy Cherono and Sylvia Jebiwott -- finished first and second respectively, posting 8:38.51 and  8:39.14 in the women's 3000m race, while Ethiopia's Buze Diriba was third in 8:39.65.

In the women's sprints, Okagbare took the gold in 10.96 seconds ahead of Americans -- Tiann Madison and Jeneb Tarmoh -- who finished in 10.99 and 11.09 seconds respectively.

The bulk of the Kenyan runners who excelled in Monaco will feature in the forthcoming London Olympics, set to begin 27 July.

Below are the results at a glance:

Selected meet results (women):

100 metres

1 Blessing Okagbare (Ngr) 10.96
2 Tiann Madison (USA)     10.99
3 Jeneba Tarmoh (USA)    11.09

400 metres:

1 Zuzana Hejnová (Czech Rep)  54.12
2 Lashinda Demus (USA) 54.26
3 Melaine Walker (Jam)  54.44

800 metres:

1 Elena Kofanova (Rus)  1:58.41
2 Francine Niyonsaba (Bur)  1:58.68
3 Aysia Johnson (USA) 1:59.05

4x100metres relay

1 United States "Blue" (42.24)
2 France (43.51)
3.Netherlands (Did not finish)


110 metres hurdles:
1 Aries Merritt , Aries (USA) 12.93
2 Jason  Richardson (USA)  13.07
3 Sergey Shubenkov (Rus)   13.09

200 metres

1 Nickel Ashmeade (Jam) 20.02
2 Churandy Martina (Ned) 20.07
3 Wallace Spearmon (USA) 20.09

4x100metres relay;

1 United States "Red"  (37.61)
2 United States "Blue" (37.83)
3 Canada  (38.60).
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 21July2012

21 july 2012 13:55:55

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