Kiprop hat-trick puts Kenya on top in Beijing

Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:54pm EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - Asbel Kiprop produced a trademark sprint finish to win a third straight 1,500 meters gold and ensure Kenya topped the medals table at successive world championships after the final night of action on Sunday.

The United States men won a sixth straight gold in 4x400m relay but Jamaica's Novlene Williams-Mills ran down tiring American Francena McCorory in the women's event to claim a sixth gold in Beijing for the Caribbean powerhouse.

That was enough for second place on the medals table ahead of a U.S. team who won only five golds, their worst tally in the 15 world championships.

Kiprop, Usain Bolt and his fellow Jamaican sprinter Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce were the only individual title winners from the Beijing Olympics to return to the Bird's Nest and win gold again seven years later.

"I am so proud of myself to become part of this exclusive club of three-times world champions," Kiprop told reporters after clocking three minutes 34.40 seconds to win.

"But I would dearly love to defend the title a fourth time in London in 2017. This allows me to join Algeria's Noureddine Morceli but Hicham El Guerrouj still has one gold more and that is what I am aiming at."

Genzebe Dibaba's bid to become the first woman to win both the 1,500m and 5,000m at the same world championships was thwarted by a stunning run from her team mate Almaz Ayana in the longer race.

Ayana ran the last four laps on her own to better the championship record of Dibaba's sister Tirunesh in a time of 14 minutes 26.83 seconds, leading Senbere Teferi and the younger Dibaba across the line in an Ethiopian sweep.   Continued...

Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, gold medal, poses on the podium after the men's 1500m event during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, August 30, 2015.           REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon