Nicholas Bett’s steeplechase victory highlights many top performances at Night of Athletics

The 37th edition of the Night of Athletics held 16 July in Heusden continued its tradition of middle distance and distance excellence, this time featuring Nicholas Bett's breakthrough into the world elite with his 3000m steeplechase performance.

With Night of Athletics already being special to Nicholas Bett, as the ’15 meeting gave him his first win on the international circuit (8:19.26, ’15 world no. 22), the ’16 edition of Nacht served as the stage for Bett’s entrance into the world steeple elite.  In a field featuring several other Personae-managed teammates, Bett proceeded to improve his personal best by over 5 seconds to win in 8:14.04 (’16 world no. 8), ahead of runner-up Hillary Yego (8:15.10, ’16 world no. 11).  Nelson Kipkogei finished 7th in 8:26.24, while Jeroen D’Hoedt placed 9th with his second-fastest career time of 8:31.54 (“16 Europe no. 14).

The men’s 1500m produced some of the fastest performances seen at the meeting in several years, including Hillary Ngetich (2nd in 3:32.97 personal best, ’16 world no. 10), Gilbert Kwemoi (3rd in 3:33.71 personal best, ’16 world no. 15), Dawit Wolde (4th in 3:33.98, ’16 world no. 18), Vincent Letting (5th in 3:35.12 personal best), Pieter-Jan Hannes (6th in 3:35.62, ’16 Europe no. 10), and Ismael Debjani (8th in 3:35.62 personal best, ’16 Europe no. 12).   The race was won by Ayanleh Souleiman in 3:31.68 (’16 world no. 6). 

Other Personae athletes securing victories or with noteworthy performances in Heusden included Anne Zagre in the 100m Hurdles (1st in 12.96), Emily Cherotich in the 800m (1st in 2:00.45), Timothy Kitum in 800m (1st in 1:45.43), Albert Rop in 5000m (1st in 13:09.98), Abraham Rotich in 800m (2nd in 1:45.83), Davis Kiplangat in 5000m (2nd in 13:16.35 personal best), and Louise Carton in the 5000m (7th in 15:33.58).

Finally, at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 15 July, 34-years-old but still-going-strong Paul Kipsiele Koech finished 2nd in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:08.32, moving him to 3rd on the event’s ’16 world chart, with the time also being Koech’s 67th career sub-8:10 steeple performance.  Also, Kenyan Olympic Trials 800m champion Alfred Kipketer won the Monaco 800m in 1:44.47, his first-ever Diamond League victory.


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