By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, June 1 (Xinhua) -- It will take something special to wrest the Diamond Trophy away from World and Commonwealth Games 5,000m silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot.
The Shanghai Diamond League champion in 1,4000m proved he is on a different level as he strung together three wins in as many competitions in China, Eugene, USA and Rome. However, Cheruiyot says his best hopes lies in him winning the Africa Championships in Asaba, Nigeria in August.
"The Diamond League is a special but the target is to remain at the top and contest for a medal at the Africa Championships," said Cheruiyot on Friday. "It feels nice to be the world number one and running a world lead time. But the focus should be on making it at the Africa championships. But in general am happy with another win."
With only three meetings done out of the maximum seven, Cheruiyot leads the standings with 16 points ahead of Ethiopia's Samuel Tefera 13, Charles Simwoto nine and World champion Elijah Manangoi is fourth with seven points.
The 22-year-old will hold on to the bragging rights as he won in 3 minutes 31.22 seconds, the fastest of the season so far. Cheruiyot finished well clear of his training partner Elijah Manangoi, who took gold to his silver in London last summer and finished in a season's best time of 3:33.79. Ethiopia's world indoor champion Samuel Tefara took third place in 3:34.84.
Kenya's world and Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, surprisingly beaten by compatriot Benjamin Kigen at the Eugene Diamond League last Saturday, made sure it didn't happen again in what was a non-Diamond League race, although it was a close run thing.
Kipruto pulled clear on the final lap to win in 8: 04.40, the fastest run so far this year, but Kigen maintained his rising reputation as he took second place in 8:10.01 despite a stumble at the last hurdle after which he looked briefly behind him before resuming his forward momentum. Ethiopia's Chala Beyo was third in a personal best of 8:11.22.
"I need to reaffirm my position as champion and leader in steeplechase. Now we take out war to the national trials and see who makes the Kenya team to Africa Championships," said Kipruto.