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Monday, August 13, 2007

Osaka Steeplechase Predictions

The two best steeplers are out. Saif Saaeed Shaheen has been injured and will not run, and World Athletics Tour leader Paul Kipsiele Koech did not make Kenya's team.

Gold - Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya). You simply must take any Kenyan steeplechase champion seriously. Kemboi's not just any Kenyan champ, either. He's having a good year with several big wins (aside from the Paris debacle). He has a good record in big meets, too; in the last three WC/OG meets, he's only lost to Shaheen, who's not going to be there this time.

Silver - Richard Kipkemboi Mateelong (Kenya).

Bronze - Brimin Kiprop Kipruto (Kenya). Theoretically, Bob Tahri (France) or Mustafa Mohamed (Sweden) could break up the medal sweep, but that's only if one of the Kenyans falls. I wouldn't bet on it.

Not much history here, so it's a bit harder to handicap. Defending World Champ Dorcus Inzikuru is out (pregnancy).

Gold - Gulnara Galkina-Sabitova (Russia)

Silver - Eunice Jepkorir (Kenya)

Bronze - Donna McFarlane (Australia)

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