Kipruto retains steeplechase title by a whisker

AFP

Conselsius Kipruto of Kenya retained his 3000 metres steeplechase title just getting up to deny Ethiopian rival Lameche Girma in a thrilling finish in Doha on Friday winning in a world leading time of 8min 01.35sec.

The 24-year-old Olympic champion had it all to do coming to the final barrier but he summoned up a final burst of acceleration and hit the line abreast of Girma.

The duo spent a nervy few seconds awaiting the result before Kipruto raised his arm and went and sat on a barrier -- putting his finger to his lips and then one hand in the shape of a telescope to his eye.

Girma -- who had shared the burden of pacemaking with his Ethiopian team-mates whilst the Kenyans sat in behind them -- set a new national record of 8:01.36.

Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali had taken the lead going into the final lap but had to settle for the bronze timing 8:03.76.