NAIROBI, July 8 – Kenya’s 3,000 metres steeplechase duo of World Youth silver medallist Christine Kambua Muyanga and Africa junior champion Elizabeth Muyanga breezed through to the final after winning their respective heats in the opening day of the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz on Tuesday.
Mueni coasted to victory in heat one clocking 10:07.47 ahead of Ethiopia’s Itaa Korahubish who set a new personal best of 10:08.15. Polina Jelizarova of Latvia came in third in 10:10.39.
In the second heat, Muyanga, stopped the clock in 9:59.88 narrowly outside her personal best of 9:57.0. Halima Hassen of Ethiopia was second in a time of 10:00.27 with Finland’s Sandra Ericksson finishing third in 10:17.92.
In the boys’ 400 metres first round heats, Africa silver medallist Silvester Kirwa clocked a season best time of 47.34 to finish second behind Brian Gregan of Ireland and qualify to the next round.
Later in the day, Nelly Chebet and Lucy Kamene Muia were slated to take on Ethiopia’s Genzgbe Dibaba in the women’s 5,000 metres final.
On Wednesday, Africa junior 400 metres hurdles champion John Kituu will line up in heat two while Julius Rotich Olyetgor will be in heat 3.
Later Wednesday, Kenya will go in search of the men’s 10,000 metres gold. Titus Mbishei and Josephat Bett will lead the charge to reclaim the gold won by Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan two years ago.
It will be the first time for Kipkoech to represent his country while Mbishei will be looking to improve on his fifth place finish at the men’s junior race at the 2008 World Cross Country Championships in March.
In other highlights of the opening day, Racheal Nachula suggested she could make history as a first ever Zambian medallist at the championships by leading the qualifiers in the opening round of the women’s 400m. The stocky Nachula ran hard to take heat three in an impressive 52.65 to book her spot in Wednesday night’s semi-finals.
World Youth silver medallist Kirani James headed the qualifiers in the men’s 400m after setting a Grenadian junior national record of 46.53 in heat four of the men’s 400m.
James, aged just 15, powered around the bright blue coloured 400m oval to lower his personal best by a sizeable 0.43 and cruise through into Wednesday’s semi-finals.