Kenyan Kipruto withdraws from Monaco Diamond League

Kenyan 3000m steeplechase athlete Conseslus Kipruto has withdrawn from the Monaco Diamond League event on Friday, after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

Kipruto, the Olympic and world champion in the 3000m steeplechase, was the favourite for the Monaco staging of the event.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” Kipruto said on Instagram.

“Unfortunately my Covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on Aug. 14.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the world record. It has stayed too long outside Kenya.”

Kipruto emerged victorious at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha last year.

Kipruto had an uphill battle to retain the world 3000-metre steeplechase title. The injury had laid him low before the event, and he was up against stern competition from worthy opponents. But, like the champion he is, he found a way to win.

In 2018, he won the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich, snatching victory from what seemed an inevitable defeat.

On that night, Kipruto beat Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, despite losing a shoe on the first lap, twice conceding a break to his opponent, losing ground at the final water-jump and trailing off the final hurdle.

Despite all that – or, perversely, could it be because of all that – Kipruto somehow got himself to the line centimetres ahead of a despairing El Bakkali. Nobody saw that coming, least of all El Bakkali, whose arms were spread acclaiming a victory which had just evaporated before his own eyes.

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