Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto stormed to victory in the men’s 3,000 metre steeplechase final on Wednesday, ensuring the East African nation maintained its iron grip on the event it has won in every Games since 1984.
The 21-year-old had long been touted as the young pretender to Kenya’s steeplechase crown but he produced a final lap sprint that saw him grab gold in an Olympic record of 8 minutes 3.28 seconds.
A winner of two silver world championship medals, Kipruto was so far ahead of his rivals that he started celebrating and waving to the crowd at the start of the final straight.
Evan Jager won a rare medal for the United States in the race – their first since 1984 – after overtaking Kenya’s double Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi in the last 50m to take silver.
Kemboi, who won his fourth steeplechase world championship in a row last year, announced his retirement from athletics after the race.
“After 18 years I have done my best,” said 34-year-old Kemboi, who won gold at the Athens and London Games.