Mutua crowns glorious Kenya outing

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MONCTON, Canada, July 26- Kenya's David Mutua powered past American rivals Casimir Loxsom and Robby Andrews to clinch a thrilling 800m victory at the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships at Moncton.

Mutua who just got quicker and quicker down the home straight as the USA pair tied up after a very first fast lap of 52.18, won in a lifetime best of 1:46.41.

Loxsom and Andrews who seemed to be racing for the gold medal until Mutua’s late intervention, clocked 1:46.57 a PB for the former and 1:47.00 as they saw their hopes die in the last 50m.

Mutua was content to stay in the pack as the field led by his fellow countryman Dickson Tuwei went off like greyhounds and through 800m in under 24 seconds.

Not surprisingly Mutua who maintained his momentum died when Loxsom and Andrews struck with half a lap remaining, but they themselves had no response when Mutua came from nowhere to score Kenya’s seventh and first victory since Alex Kipchrichir in 2002.

"It was not a very hard race," said Mutua despite his opponents running out of steam in the final 100m. "When we started racing my body showed me I could win.

"When there was 110m left my body woke up and I knew I could win the race. I feel very good."

Earlier there was another Kenyan success when Jonathan Ndiku lived up to his reputation as pre-race favourite when earning a no-nonsense 3000 Steeplechase success to maintain Kenya’s his country’s domination of the event since it was switched from 2000 metres.

The 12th successive gold medallist and defending champion from the East African nation broke the spirit of teammate Albeert Yator and Jacob Araptany with two laps remaining winning in a time of 8:23.48.

Yator his silver medal placing seeing Kenya on eight occasions scoring a unique 1-2, lowered his PB by five seconds to 8:33.55 with Uganda’s Araptany clocking 8:37.02.

It was an uncomplicated victory for Ndiku who came into the Championships with a world leading time of 8:19.25 set at high altitude in Nairobi at the end of June.

His opening pace pulled the Japanese-based 19-year-old into a 12m lead after the first complete lap of the stadium although Yator, Araptany and Ethiopia’s Desta Alemu who eventually placed fifth, got back on level terms after a further 300m.

But his easy free running style although his hurdling technique needs plenty of improvement, clearly suggested there was only ever going to be one winner.

Ndiku explaining why he slowed after his first lap break, said: "I was wanting my teammate to come in front of me because I was needing some help."

He added after the country’s huge success at all levels of athletics championships: "This race is our culture. It’s a Kenyan race."

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