On an unforgettable day for global 1,500m running, Kenya’s Kumari Taki ensured day three of the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 would also be ignited by a stellar metric mile performance as he smashed the boys’ championship record on Friday night.
The 16-year-old Kenyan took the lead from the outset with only his countryman Lawi Kosgei prepared to go with the searing pace set by the stick-thin Taki. With 600 metres to go, the leader kicked clear of Kosgei and then simply put on a demonstration of his outstanding middle-distance staying power. He crossed the line in a personal best 3:36.38 to trim 0.39 from Robert Biwott’s championship record and claim Kenyan’s seventh success in nine editions of the event at these championships. Kosgei won bronze after Ethiopia’s Mulugeta Assefa snatched silver. Tanki, who is fresh from lifting the Africa Youth title in Mauritius, was in a good form as he commanded the race to set a championship record of 3:36.38.
But Assefa, who posted a personal best of 3:41.10, looked strong for Kosgei in a time of 3:41.3. Welde Tufa, Ethiopia’s other representative, was fourth in a personal best of 3:41.74 ahead of Britain’s James Gormley (3:48.31) and Ignacio Fontes, who also recorded a new personal best of 3:48.83.
Fireworks are expected in men’s 2,000m steeplechase final tomorrow morning, when Ethiopia’s favourite Wogene Sebisibe parades alongside Kenya’s Africa junior 3,000m steeplechase champion Vincent Kipyegon, who has been tipped to break the championships record. Ethiopia’s Meresa Kahsay produced a killer sprint in Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2013 to set the championship record of 5:19.99, relegating Nicholas Bett and Justus Lang’at to silver and bronze medals. Sebisibe ran a personal best time of 5:31.31 to top the heats and that will count for nothing when he takes on Kipyegon (5:32.00) and Geoffrey Rotich (5:34.52) in the final. Ethiopia’s Tegenu Mengistu (5:42.01), Daniel do Nascimento (5:46.35) of Brazil and Leo Magnusson (5:50.04) will also be in contention. It was a bad morning yesterday for Kenya when women’s 800m sole representative Mary Kalekye Malika lost in the semi final in 2:13.61.
Italian Marta Zenoni (2:05.47), Ethiopia’s Gadese Ejara (2:06.24) and Carvs McAulay (2:08.70) will compete in the final at 12:05am tomorrow.
Africa Youth 3,000m champion Richard Yator and Africa Youth silver medallist Davis Kiplangat will fly the Kenyan flag high in 3,000m final tomorrow at 12:30am. Yator (7:53.3) and Kiplang’at (7:53.6) expect to boost Kenya’s medal tally as they take on Ethiopia’s Tefera Mosisa (8:07.53), Britain’s Alexander Yee (8:14.8) and Abdurrahman Gediklioglu (8:34.75) of Turkey in the 3,000m contest. Algeria’s Abderrazak Abed (8:29.07), Ethiopia’s Abayneh Degu (8:15.43) and Yuta Kambayashi (8:18.54) of Japan are also itching for glory. The Kenya versus Ethiopia track rivalry has no doubt got a renewed touch in the elementary IAAF competition, with each team coming up with some fresh athletes emerging from the production chains like the Africa Youth Championships. This is the first time there has been a South American host for the IAAF World Youth Championships, which were inaugurated in 1999.
Kenya will be the second nation in Africa to host the event in Nairobi in 2017 after Marrakech, Morocco, hosted in 2005. The championships end tomorrow morning.
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke