• Lagat wins second Gold medal in Delhi

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Oct 11, 2010-

Kenyan Nancy Jebet Lagat completed a successful double at the Commonwealth games on Monday-the first ever by a Kenyan woman by winning the 800m Gold medal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Lagat who has been in exceptional form this season opted to double at the games following the withdrawal of the defending champion Janeth Jepkosgei.

She shrugged off a niggling knee injury as she sprinted to the finish line in the last lap crossing the line in 2:00.01, her second gold at the games after fridays victory in the 1500m.

“I feel so happy because I didn’t think I would win it,” said a beaming Lagat-the Olympic Champion from Beijing. “It was a very tactical race my fellow athletes were also tough.”

Lagat’s Gold was the only medal from the event after Winny Chebet who was trailing her tripped in the home stretch to finish eighth with Cherono Koech struggling to seventh (2:11.58).

New Zealand Nikki Hamblin took the silver (2:00.05) with Canada’s Diane Cummins settling for bronze in 2:00.13.

“From the beginning of the season I have been running so good and I’ve ended it by winning two gold medals. Am now looking forward to running at the world championship and win the gold medal,” said the 29 year old who won the African Championships in Nairobi last August and also finished top of the Diamond league series.

African Champion Richard Matelong maintained the country’s 3000m steeplechase Games winning streak leading a 1-2-3 sweep of the medals.

Kenya’s chance in the 3000m-steeplechase event was never really threatened, as it was more on who will the Gold.

World champion Ezekiel Kemboi surged forward after the fourth lap pulling Matelong along with him with Uganda’s Benjamin Kiplagat and Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto close behind.

Matelong, the world silver medallist surged forward in the last lap and held on for victory in 8:16.39,about two seconds off the Games record, a fast time in Delhi’s heat and humidity.

“The race started very slow and it was hard to determine who would win this race. But I managed to push the pace and win the race as I had planned,” he said.

Kemboi took silver in 8:18.47 with Kipruto clinching the bronze (8:19.65).

“This was my third Commonwealth Games and my last.Am happy with the silver because it has been a long and hectic season. Now am planning for London Olympics and then I switch to Marathon,” Kemboi said.

Inexperience cost Kenya the win in the men’s 10 000 which Ugandan Moses Kipsiro exploited to win his second gold medal at the Games after his success in the 500om last Wednesday.

The Kenyan trio of Titus Mbishei, Daniel Salel and Joseph Birech were well placed to attack after exchanging the lead for the better part of the 25-lap race.

But Kipsiro disposed off the Kenyans in the last lap outrunning Mbishei to win in 27:57.39,with Salel’s charge coming a little too late but enough to earn him a silver in 27:57.57.

“I came into this race to win Gold and nothing else. I knew the plan was to burn me out so I kept thee pressure on the Kenyans and it worked so well.”

Birech took the bronze in 27:58.58, his personal best as Mbishei faded to fourth.

"We had a plan to share the pace and we did that. I was supposed to sprint earlier, but I got spiked during the race, so it was tough," said Birech.

“Kipsiro is a great athlete very experienced compared to our Kenyan athletes who had never run the 10000m before at any international competition. We had a plan but it didn’t work,” conceded Peter Mathu, Kenyan Head coach.

Kipsiro is the second athlete to achieve a double in the long distance at the games Since Cecil Matthews in 1934 in Sydney.

The Kenyan quartet of Vincent Kosgei, Vincent Mumo, Mark Mutai and Anderson Mureta looked strong in their qualification for men’s 4 by 400m posting the fastest times of 3:03.66 in the two heats, but were later disqualified for overstepping the line.

The men’s 4 by 100m Simon Kimaru, Anderson Mureta ,Stephen Wafula and Kipkemoi Soy also made the finals as the fastest losers from their heat. 

James Kiplangat, Gideon Gathimba and Silas Kiplagat all made the 1500m final set for Tuesday. 

The other final of the day is the women’s 5000m which the world champion Vivian Cheruyoit is tipped to win her first commonwealth games medal”

“Am just concerned with the heat and humidity. But for me the plan is simple sprint to the Gold, “said Vivian who arrived in Delhi on Sunday. Iness Chenonge and Sylvia Kibet are equally strong and it could possibly just be another 1-2-3 for Kenya.

Kenya now has 20 medals including 8 Gold the country’s best performance at the Games.

 Evelyn Watta in New Delhi

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COUNTRY G S B T
1 Australia 74 54 48 176
2 England 37 59 45 141
3 India 37 27 35 99
3 Canada 26 17 32 75
4 South Africa 12 11 10 33
5 Kenya 12 11 9 32
6 Malaysia 12 9 13 34
7 Nigeria 11 10 14 35
8 Singapore 10 10 9 29
9 Scotland 9 10 7 26
10 New Zealand 5 22 8 35
11 Cyprus 4 3 5 12
12 Northern Ireland 3 3 4 10
13 Samoa 3   1 4
14 Wales 2 7 10 19
15 Jamaica 2 4 1 7
16 Pakistan 2 1 2 5
17 Uganda 2     2
18 Bahamas 1 1 3 5
19 Sri Lanka 1 1 1 3
20 Nauru 1 1   2
 
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