By Bernard Kemboi
Conseslus Kipruto set a new Olympic record and won Kenya her 4th gold at the ongoing Olympic games in Rio Brazil after winning the men’s 3,000m steeplechase final at Olympic Stadium.
Defending champion Ezekiel Kemboi was disqualified for a lane infringement thus losing the Bronze that he had won after finishing third to French Mekhisi Benabad.
Conseslus extended Kenya’s strangle hold on the race since 1984 powering home in a new games record of 8 minutes 03.28 seconds.
He smashed his compatriot Julius Kariukis’s record of 8 minutes 05.51 seconds set at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Defending and two time Olympic winner and 4 time world champion Ezekiel Kemboi lost spark in the last 100m to finish third in 8 minutes 08.47 seconds behind North American champion USA’s Evan Jagger who wound up second to grab silver in 8 minutes 04.28 seconds.
The defending champion, who has won gold or silver at all but one major championship since 2003, slowed almost to a gentle jog from 50 metres out but crossed the line in third place.
A protest was presented by the French team, claiming that Kemboi had stepped outside the track on the curve after clearing the water jump.
France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi, silver medallist at the past two Olympics, was then awarded the bronze medal, having crossed the line in 8:11.52.
2008 Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto was 7th. It was the third consecutive Olympic games that Kenya has failed to claim a clean podium sweep since the 2004 games in Athens, Greece.