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Athletics: Kenya struggle in 3,000m steeplechase heats

Athletics - Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Men's 3,000 meters Steeplechase trials - Eldoret, Kenya - 1/7/16 - Brimin Kipruto (L), Conseslus Kipruto (C) and Ezekiel Kemboi (R) compete. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya Picture Supplied by Action Images
Athletics - Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Men's 3,000 meters Steeplechase trials - Eldoret, Kenya - 1/7/16 - Brimin Kipruto (L), Conseslus Kipruto (C) and Ezekiel Kemboi (R) compete. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya Picture Supplied by Action Images

By Christian Radnedge

(Reuters) - Former gold medallist Brimin Kipruto failed to reach the final of the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase at the World Championships in London on Sunday, as Kenyan athletes struggled to impose themselves in the heats.

Kenya's Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto booked his place in Tuesday’s final by winning the third heat in 8:23.80, but his team mates struggled in the London Stadium.

Kenyans have won the previous five world titles and the last nine Olympic golds, but Brimin Kipruto, who won in Osaka 10 years ago, was knocked out after finishing seventh in his heat and Jairus Birech and Ezekiel Kemboi only progressed as fastest losers.

Other heat winners were Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali in 8:22.60 and Evan Jager of the U.S. on 8:20.36.

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Toby Davis)

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