BERLIN, August 15 – Gladys Kipkemoi led by example as a trio of Kenyan female steeplechasers qualified for the 3,000 metres final on Saturday.
The 23 year old took command on the third heat before easing off in the final 50 metres to easily make it in the final in 9:29.36.
“It was easier than I thought. I was expecting to finish fourth or fifth with the Russian girl giving me competition but my body just seemed to propel itself. Now that am through to the final, I will work hard and ensure that I atleast come out with a medal,” a jubilant Kipkemoi said afterwards.
But things were not easy for All Games champion Ruth Bosibori.
Widely regarded as Kenya’s brightest medal prospect at the championships, the 21 year old police officer relaxed her grip on her race moving down to fifth place in the final ten metres to finish in a time of 9:27.04.
With only the first four athletes getting automatic qualification, Bosibori then had to endure a nervous ten minute wait as the final heat was run before she was confirmed as one of the fastest losers.
“I thank God I have made it because I was almost locked out of the final. I slowed down in the last few metres and did not see the other girls closing in. It is a mistake I will not repeat,” a relieved Bosibori said.
The third Kenyan; Milka Chemos also cruised to the final after finishing fourth in heat one. The mother of two was making her debut in international competition and she recovered from a slow start to finish fourth in 9:23.87.
“Wow! that race was very fast, I can make it in the final but I need to improve on clearing the barriers. I used a lot of strength to catch up with them,” she said afterwards.
National 400 metres champion Joyce Zakari etched her name in Kenyan history by becoming the first Kenyan woman to qualify to the second round of the 400 metres at a World Championships.
The 23 year old finished fifth in heat two in 52.88 to qualify as one of the fastest losers.
In the men’s 20kilometres, David Kimutai finished 32nd in a time of 1:26:35.