Beatrice Chepkoech earned victory at the inaugural Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi today ©Getty Images

World champion and women's 3,000 metres steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech produced a winning final flourish at the inaugural Kip Keino Classic meeting in Nairobi as Kenya marked its return to hosting top class sport post-lockdown.

On a warm evening at the newly refurbished Nyayo National Stadium, Chepkoech delighted a crowd limited to 6,000 because of remaining coronavirus health measures as she took a decisive early lead in the thin air of the capital to earn victory over her compatriot Hyvin Kiyeng, the 2015 world champion, in the last of this season’s World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meetings.

Chepkoech was seeking redress after losing to Kiyeng in Berlin last month, and she made it clear from the start that she had no intention of suffering another defeat as she went off hard and left her rival effectively stranded after a couple of laps.

The world champion finished 30 metres clear of her rival, clocking 9min 29.06sec, with Kiyeng second in 9:34.07.

The corresponding men’s race was to have included Kenya’s world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto - who made his long-awaited season’s debut in Doha after recovering from COVID-19 but failed to finish in the 1,500m.

Sadly Kipruto was not on the startline for a race won by compatriot Abraham Kibiwott in 8:17.60 from Leonard Bett, who clocked 8:17.63.

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri waited until the final 200 metres before striking for home and secured victory in 15:06.36, ahead of Agnes Tirop.

The world 10,000m bronze medallist of 2017 and 2019 finished second in 15:06.71, with Kenya's Margaret Kipkemboi, world silver medallist behind Obiri in Doha last year, third in 15:11:11.

Kenya’s world 1,500 metres champion Timothy Cheruyiot, as expected, maintained his unbeaten record for the season as he won over his signature distance in 3:34.31 from fellow countryman Taki Kumari, who recorded 3:35.00.

Ferguson Rotich, fresh from his 800 metres win at last Friday’s (September 25) concluding Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha, held off a field that included Commonwealth champion Wycliffe Kinyamal, who has a personal best of 1:43.12, as he won in 1:44.78, with Australia’s 22-year-old Joseph Deng showing some of his potential by taking second place in 1:45.21.

Earlier in the programme 17-year-old Beatrice Masilingi excelled herself as she won the women’s 400m in a massive personal best of 50.99sec.

South Africa’s Sinesipho Dambile won the men’s 200 metres in 20.44 ahead of the favourite from the Ivory Coast, Arthur Cisse, who recorded 20.53.

The men’s 5,000m was won by Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli in 13:08.32 ahead of Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi, who clocked 13:08.91.

Nelly Jepkosgei of Bahrain won the women’s 800 metres in 2:02.07, with Kenya’s 2013 world champion Eunice Sum second in 2:03.73.