NAIROBI, July 12 – World Youth 800 metres Champion Geoffrey Kibet won silver at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz on Friday night.,
The 18 year old Police constable ran an impressive race pushing World junior record holder Abubaker Kaki Khamis all the way and he went on to clock a personal best time of 1:46.23.
Kaki, who was tipped as a potential Olympic champion in Beijing after setting a World junior record of 1:42.69 in Oslo in June, even admitted how difficult it had been to secure Sudan’s first outdoor global athletics gold medal.
“It wasn’t an easy win,” admitted Kaki, who crossed the line in 1:45.60. “I was surprised to see the Kenyan on my shoulder with 100m to go.”
Kaki burst to the front down the back straight of the opening lap with local favourite Adam Kszczot looming on the African’s shoulder at 200m. The Sudanese athlete chose to control the race from the front and hit the bell in 51.78 ahead of Kibet, the World Youth champion, and South Africa’s Andre Oliver.
However, while many would have expected the 1:42 man to stamp his authority on the race down the back straight at 600m Kibet was still within one stride of the long-time leader and Kszczot and Oliver were also in contention.
Kaki entered the home straight side by side with Kibet and it required a big final push in the latter stages to finally shake off the attentions of the plucky Kenyan.
In other results, Winny Chebet finished a surprising sixth in the women’s 800 metres final. It was a poor performance from Chebet who had been expected to make the podium.
In Saturday’s standout final World Youth 3,000 metres champion Mercy Cherono will be looking to claim gold when she lines up in the final.
The 17 year old form one student will have Africa bronze medallist Jackline Chebii for company the diminutive pair will be favourites to win.