BERLIN, August 17 – Kenya clinched two bronze medals in day three of the World Athletics Championships in Berlin on Monday.
Moses Masai won bronze in the men’s 10,000 metres final and Milka Chemos claimed another in the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase on a high of high of drama for Kenya.
The medals also helped restore some confidence in the Kenyan camp after injuries forced Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo and African champion Haron Keitany to drop out of their heats.
Donning the Kenyan colours for the first time in her life, 23 year old Milka Chemos produced an outstanding maturity as she fought hard to win bronze in a personal best time of 9:08.57.
“I am so happy and delighted. Before we started the race, I prayed to God to help me as this is my first time to be in the Kenyan team. I dint think I can be in top three but I prayed God for strength in the morning and he heard my prayers,” said an ecstatic Chemos.
Ruth Bosibori was seventh in 9:13.16 and Gladys Kipkemoi eighth in 9:14.62.
The men’s 10,000 metres provided a grandstand finish to the day’s activities.
Eritrea’s Zersanny Tadesse threw down the gauntlet by setting a punishing pace that destroyed most of the filed but Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele would not let up and he clinched his fourth world title in a championship record of 26:46.31. Tadesse finished second in 26:50.12.
Masai timed third in 26:57.39 to improve on his fourth place finish in Beijing last year.
“I have had a long standing problem with an ankle injury so am pleased with this result. Infact I haven’t run in Europe since September but I have been managing the injury.”
Bernard Kipyego came in fifth in 27:1847 while compatriot Micah Kogo finished seventh in 27:26.33.
Earlier there was drama when reigning Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo dropped out of her 800 metres semifinal heat. The 19 year old had started well but she suddenly started slowing down before dropping out with 650 metres to go.
Reigning World champion Janeth Jepkosgei also barely made it to the final after finishing third in heat one only qualifying as one of the fastest losers in a time of 1:59.47.
African champion Haron Keitany then failed to start in the men’s 1500 metres heats. Sources close to the team said that the 25 year old had suffered a stress fracture.
Olympic Medallist Asbel Kiprop and Augustine Choge made it to the final. The lanky 20 year old easily won the second semifinal in 3:36.2 after unleashing his trademark finishing kick while Choge came in third in 3:36.43.