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Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 19:08 GMT 20:08 UK

Cherono leads Kenya clean sweep

Kenya scooped an expected one-two-three in the men's 3,000m steeplechase as Stephen Cherono took gold and his brother Abraham won the bronze medal.

Ezekiel Kemboi took silver as the trio finished nearly seven seconds clear of England's Stuart Stokes, who finished fourth.

The Kenyan trio started off at near world record pace and opened up a massive 60m gap on the rest of the field after just two of the eight laps.

The sole Canadian in the field, Joel Bourgeois, led the chasing pack, ahead of a trio of English athletes and two Welshmen.

Local lad Stokes took over in fourth place to the cheers of the home crowd after 2,000m, but the attention was on which of the three Kenyans would strike gold.

They jumped the penultimate hurdle all together before Stephen Cherono was the first to kick for home.

He enjoyed a metre advantage over Kemboi going into the final straight, and sprinted away to claim victory in 8:19.41.

Kemboi appeared happy enough to settle for silver, taking time to stop his own stopwatch as he crossed the line in 8:19:78.

Abraham Cherono, who started favourite, took the bronze medal a further seven hundredths back.

Fantastic atmosphere

The clean sweep meant that Kenya have now won 19 of the last 24 medals at the distance in the Commonwealth Games.

Stokes finished strongly in fourth to clock a new personal best of 8:26:45.

"I knew the Kenyans would go off crazily at the start and I just had to hang in there and give it my best shot," said the Englishman.

"I was 10 seconds quicker than I had ever run before at the bell and my legs had gone.

"But the atmosphere was fantastic and the adrenaline I got from the crowd was unbelievable."


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