Brimin Kipruto Produces A Sensational Performance in Monaco
He Steals Spotlight From Bigger Names As Fantastic Last Lap Makes Him 2nd Fastest Man In History - Just .01 Off World Record

By LetsRun.com
July 22, 2011

*Full Monaco Diamond League Recap

Amazingly, the men's steeplechase stole the show in Monaco on Friday night and Brimin Kipruto needs to give Paul Koech a big thank you.

Before the start of the meet, we thought the steeple might be the most anticlimatic event of all, as it came directly after Usain Bolt's race in the 100 meters and just minutes before the post-race fireworks. Clearly the crowd would want to see the event end in a hurry. And end in a hurry it did, as Brimin Kipruto just missed the world record.

Kipruto, the 2008 Olympic champion, was in third place at the bell, but blasted a sub-60 final lap to run 7:53.64, missing the world record by the slimmest margin possible - .01. Kipruto, an incredible championship racer (2008 Olympic gold, 2004 Olympic silver, 2007 Worlds gold, 2005 Worlds bronze), had never broken the 8-minute barrier until Friday, and much of the credit must go to Paul Koech.

Koech, who had gone sub-8 six times prior to Friday, was only 7th at the most recent Kenyan Championships and had petitioned Athletics Kenya to put him on the World Championships team, arguing that he does not run well at altitude (which is true). Koech ran like a man with something to prove, as he wanted to impress the Kenyan selectors. Once the rabbit Haron Lagat dropped out, Koech was more than willing to keep pushing the pace, hoping to secure a sub-8 clocking.

This was a three-man race as Koech led, followed by 2004 Olympic and 2009 world champion Ezekiel Kemboi, with Kipruto in tow. Koech kept hammering away from the front and with 600 to go, it appeared Kipruto might crack off the back as a slight gap formed between him and Kemboi. At the bell, they were single file with Koech still in front. Kemboi struck first on the turn and pulled ahead of Koech with Kipruto then coming around Koech as well. Kemboi and Kipruto would battle on the backstretch until Kipruto took off with about 220 meters to go. Kipruto ran incredibly fast around the bend, hurdling the water barrier, and opened up a huge lead.

Down the homestretch, he was really racing the clock, but it's likely he did not know the world record was in jeopardy. Coming over the final barrier, he glanced over his inside shoulder to see where the rest of the field was. That little glance likely cost him the world record. He powered through the line but did not lean (which also might have cost him) and was rewarded with the #2 time in history. Kemboi was a clear second with a 7:55.76 PR (only his second sub-8 clocking), and Koech's brave frontrunning paid off with a 7:57.32.

Well back, US champ Billy Nelson's fine 2011 continued with a 4-second PR in 8:17.27. Nelson has been resurgent this year since returning to run under college coach Mark Wetmore.

QT #1: Sub-8 clockings are still rare. The 3 on Friday were the 25th, 26th, and 27th sub-8 minute performances ever (by people not convicted of doping). There had only been 1 sub-8 clocking since 2007 until today. More than 1/4th of the all-time sub-8 clockings are from Paul Koech.

QT #2: Kipruto is in excellent form. He was the Kenyan champion.

QT #3: This race showed that to get exceptionally fast times, you often need one athlete willingly or unwillingly to sacrifice themselves as a rabbit. No one was willing to serve that role in the men's 5,000 and the pace lagged. Koech had no choice but to try to run a fast time and it paid off big-time for the front 3.

1
KEN
7:53.64
AR,MR
2
KEN
7:55.76
PB
3
KEN
7:57.32
SB
4
FRA
8:05.72
5
KEN
8:07.41
SB
6
KEN
8:07.75
PB
7
KEN
8:08.22
8
ETH
8:12.10
9
FRA
8:12.25
PB
10
RSA
8:12.27
SB
11
USA
8:17.27
PB
12
FRA
8:17.84
SB
13
USA
8:27.84
14
FRA
8:29.71
15
CAN
8:30.20
 
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNF

Kipruto Almost Makes History (Final Lap Or More Of Race)

Intermediate Times:

1,000m Lagat, Haron (KEN) 2:36.55
2,000m Koech, Paul Kipsiele (KEN) 5:15.28





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