This was possibly the most anticipated race in the Olympic games, along with the 800m final and the sprint events. After qualifying easily for the final, the three Kenyans in the race, Brimin Kipruto, Conseslus Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi, lined up to take the world on and possibly win a Kenyan 1-2-3.
Right from set off, Conseslus Kipruto showed his intent to win gold in the race, with Kemboi and Brimin Kipruto keeping up a few positions behind. As expected, the three Kenyans were closely followed by Frenchman Mehiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad and American Evan Jager. However, the battle was mostly between Kemboi and Kipruto, who have been competing against each other strongly over the last two years.
With 400m to go, Conseslus began to pull clear of the field, with Kemboi, wearing a flamboyant haircut, chasing him down the first bend. American Jager was close behind Kemboi, and it remained that way until the final 100m. By this time, Kipruto had pulled clear of the rest of the field, and began to celebrate with over 50m to go, sure of his gold medal and overjoyed that he had eventually beat his arch nemesis, Ezekiel Kemboi, finally. Kipruto broke the Olympic record in 8:23.08, and had he kept his blistering pace in the final stretch, he possibly would have broken the world record as well.
Kemboi, the self proclaimed greatest steeplechase athlete of all time, finished third after he faded away and was overtaken by Jager in the final 30m of the race. Brimin Kipruto could get enough pace in the final lap, eventually finishing seventh.
Well done, Kenyans!