Men’s 3000m steeplechase

The men’s steeplechase season was a bit unusual, because the clear number one runner during the season, reigning world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto, was only the fifth fastest on the world list.

The 23-year-old Kenyan only lost three times in his ten starts. He won the Commonwealth title with an early season world lead of 8:10.08 in April and followed a runner-up finish in Eugene with a win in Rome with a season’s best 8:08.40.

Conseslus Kipruto wins the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich (AFP / Getty Images)
Conseslus Kipruto wins the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright

Kipruto later won the African title, the Birmingham Diamond League and the Diamond League final in Zürich. His Kenyan compatriot Benjamin Kigen was faster, clocking an 8:06.19 personal best in Rabat, and won in Eugene as well. The previous African champion from 2016, Ethiopian Chala Beyo, was also faster with a 8:07.27 personal best in Rabat.

Easily the fastest race of the season was Monaco, where Kipruto was third in 8:09.78 in a race won by Soufiane El Bakkali. The 22-year-old Moroccan ran a fast 8:04.83 in Brussels last year, but had only clocked 8:09.58 in Rabat a week before Monaco, where he won in 7:58.15, a world lead and personal best as he became the 12th man to break eight minutes. Evan Jager of the US came close to the same feat, but missed his own national record (8:00.45 from 2015) with an 8:01.02 run, the second fastest time of the year.

Mirko Jalava (men’s events) and A Lennart Julin (women’s events) for the IAAF