Kemboi wins steeplechase, Benabbad complains

Daegu, South Korea: Ezekiel Kemboi retained his world 3,000 metres steeplechase title on Thursday while compatriot Brimin Kipruto was involved in a controversial fight to the finish for silver.

Kenya have now claimed nine of the 13 world steeplechase titles.

After crossing the line in a time of eight minutes 14.85 seconds, Kemboi celebrated his victory in style, stripping to the waist and gyrating his hips to the delight of the Daegu crowd.

Pursued down the track by the championships` canine mascot "Sarbi", Kemboi lapped up the acclaim, wrapped in a Kenyan flag with team mate Abraham Chirchir.

Kipruto, meanwhile, cut a dejected figure, walking with hands on hips and head bowed.

Kemboi dedicated his dancing to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who false-started in the 100 metres and was disqualified from Sunday`s final.

"My friend Usain Bolt was not in the final and couldn`t dance, so I had to do it for Usain," he said.

"Brimin has run very well this year. I really stretched myself and accelerated to win the race. I think there will be a big celebration in Kenya."

Kipruto, the 2007 champion and 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist, watched Kemboi cross the line ahead of him and backed off the pace, allowing Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad to close the gap.

The Kenyan suddenly sped up and just held on to second but Mekhissi-Benabbad, who traded blows in an extraordinary incident with a team mate after a race in July, thought Kipruto had impeded him in the race to the line.

"When I start passing him he blocked my path," he told French television. "I told him it was not fair play. He looks behind and changes his line. We have to see the footage, I don`t know if we`ll lodge a complaint."

Kipruto was disappointed not to win the gold and break the world record in the process.

"You know I am on the podium but my goal was a bit higher than the silver today," he said. "I came here very confident as I felt I could be able to run the world record."

Bureau Report

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