Oregon, July 27- Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet, that’s right, Ruth Jebet, denied her country of birth Kenya the gold medal in the women’s 3000m steeplechase when she took the honours in 9:36.74 on the penultimate day of the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Jebet simply ran away from the field over the last kilometre of the race to win Bahrain’s first ever World Juniors gold medal, and their first women’s medal of any hue.
After early pace making by Peru’s Zulema Arenas brought the pack through the first 1000m in a quick 3:12.16, Kenya’s world youth champion Rosefline Chepngetich took over and began surging in an attempt to break up the pack.
Jebet moved up before the second kilometre, reached in 6:26.18, and towed Chepgnetich and her team-mate Daisy Jepkemei, the defending world junior champion away from the pack.
Eventually Jebet opened a sizeable gap the Kenyan duo was unable to close. Chepgnetich set out in pursuit but was unable to approach Jebet until the final lap, and by then it was too late and she took silver in 9:40.28.
Jepkemei duelled with Ethiopia’s Buzuayehu Mohamed for the bronze medal through the last lap, ultimately pulling away to give Kenya two women on the podium with a 9:47.65. Mohamed was fourth in 9:48.66.
World Youth champion, Alfred Kipketer and teammate Joshua Masikonde made the finals of men 800m after winning their semis.
Kipketer carried the first semi in 1:48.67 before Masikonde clocked 1:48.09, to win the second to ensure Kenya will have two athletes from eight finalists vying for the medals.
Besides the pair, the country will duel for medals and possible honours in the men 3000m steeplechase where Titus Kipruto and Barnabas Kipyego are in action in the first track final of the closing day of the biennial showpiece.
Sheila Chepng’etich and Winfred Mbithe will then take the stage to battle for the medals in the women 1500m before the men 800 duo wrap up the charge.
Kenya dropped from first on Day 3 to fourth with 2 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze.