Koech scores rare Zurich-Berlin double and Nyambura Nganga posts historical mark in Berlin

Paul Koech and Virginia Nyambura Nganga returned to their winning ways in historical fashion - Koech via victories in the Zurich Diamond League 3000m steeple and ISTAF Berlin 5000m just three days apart, and Nyambura by setting a new world best in the 2000m steeple in Berlin.

Going into the Zurich Diamond League meeting on 3-September, it had been 3 years since Paul Kipsiele Koech had last won a Diamond League event (’12 Lausanne steeple), but he corrected that in a big way in Zurich by not only winning the ’15 Diamond League steeple final, but doing it in a season best of 8:10.24, while defeating the ’15 season’s top-4 steeple performers, Jarious Birech, Evan Jager, Ezekiel Kemboi, and Conseslus Kipruto.  Just 3 days later at ISTAF Berlin, Koech secured his first-ever 5000m victory in a top-tier meeting with a time of 13:08.86, and thus scoring an unprecedented 3000m SC-5000m double on the top circuit.  The time was Koech’s career no. 2 time in the outdoors 5000m, behind his 13:05.18 PB (’10 Rabat).

After already having won three times in the ’15 Diamond League season, Virginia Nyambura Nganga was in a bit of a slump entering the ISTAF berlin meeting, having finished 2nd in the Kenyan WC Steeple Trials, and then 7th in the ’15 Beijing WC Steeple final.  She turned that around in historical fashion in Berlin, by winning the 2000m steeplechase with a new world best of 6:02.16, after a down-the stretch sprint in which she left behind Beatrice Chepkoech (6:02.47) and Gesa-Felicitas Krause (6:04.20).  The previous 2000m SC world best was 6:03.38, set by Wioletta Frankiewicz (Gdansk, 2006).  Krause’s performance improved her own German record (6:15.52, ’15 Pliezhausen) and moved her to No. 4 on the world all-time list for the event.

Other noteworthy track performances by Personae-managed athletes over the past week included Alfred Kipketer – 1st in Flame Games Amsterdam 600m (1:15.60 PB); Michael Bultheel – 4th in Zurich 400mH (49.91); Philip Milanov – 4th in Zurich Discus (63.04) and 5th in Berlin Discus (63.15); Timothy Kitum – 6th in Berlin 800m (1:46.06); Isiah Koech – 6th in Berlin 5000m (13:27.31); Ann Gathoni – 8th in Berlin 2000m SC (6:18.12 PB); while on the roads they included Betsy Saina – 3rd in Tilburg 10 km (32:21); Japhet Korir – 4th in Prague 10 km (27:47); and Kenneth Kipkemoi – 6th in Tilburg 10 Miles (46:27 PB).

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