Rio: Kipruto strikes in final stages to win 3000-metre steeplechase gold

If there is one track and field event which has been dominated by one nation more than any other, it is the men's 3,000m steeplechase.

Since the 1968 Olympics, Kenya have won gold every time they have taken part, and that streak continued in Rio, with Conseslus Kipruto claiming victory this time around in an Olympic Record time of 8.03.28.

Conseslus Kipruto celebrates his new Olympic Record (image via: Cameron Spencer/Getty)

Evan Jager of the United States claimed silver, with two-time Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi in bronze. 

Jager sets pace as elite trio take hold of medals

A relatively fast race from the off saw all of the finalists maintain their place in the lead pack over the first half of the race, before the shaggy-blonde Jager kicked from the front.

The only two men who went with him were Kipruto and Kemboi, and with around 1,000m to go, they had built a comfortable lead on the rest of the field and had all-but confirmed they would share the medals. 

The finalists take on the water jump (image via: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty)

Taking the hurdles in his stride, Jager looked capable of ending Kenya's winning run in this event, and at the bell he maintained a small lead over his African rivals. 

Kipruto makes decisive break to win gold with Olympic Record

Then, with 350metres remaining, Kipruto made a strike for home, and it was telling as he quickly built a 10metre gap on his medal rivls. 

Having run six of the ten fastest times this year, Kipruto was the clear favourite for gold, and he did just that at a canter, showboating his way over the line after successfully mastering the water jump and the last hurdle on the home straight for the final time. 

Jager fought off the challenge of Kemboi for silver, with the champion in Athens and London, and winner of the last four World Championships having to make do with bronze. 

Elsewhere on the track during Wednesday's morning session, Mo Farah qualified for the 5,000m final despite another close fall, with teammate Andrew Butchart coming through in the other semi-final. Meanwhile in the 800m, both British women, Lynsey Sharp and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke did enough to qualify for the semi-finals, alongside the clear-cut favourite for gold, Caster Semenya of South Africa.

In the field, all three Brits failed to reach the men's Hammer final, with World Champion Pawel Fajdek of Poland also falling in qualification, while Ashton Eaton took an early lead in the Decathlon from Damian Warner (Canada) who looks like the only man capable of challenging the reigning Olympic champion.