BERLIN, August 23 – Reigning world 800 metres champion Alfred Kirwa Yego lost his crown by the narrowest of margins as the World Athletics Championships came to a close at the Olympiastadion in Germany on Sunday.
The diminutive athlete ran out of track as he charged from way back in the final 100 metres to clinch silver in 1:45.29.
Speaking afterwards, Kirwa admitted that he would have won gold but for being boxed in a tough race that had ten competitors instead of the usual eight.
“I was boxed in and had to get out to lane four. If I had gotten in position earlier I would have won the race but I just missed out by such a small margin. We were too many people in the race that it was like a 1500 metres race and there was no room and I had to move out to lane five to get space,” said Kirwa.
He however was still content with his third medal in as many championships.
“I feel good because having three medals in three consecutive years is not easy and I am pleased with that. Since I started my career in 2004, I have represented my country in all championships and I have only ever failed to win a medal once and that was in Helsinki in 2005,” he added.
Kenya’s other finalist in the race Jackson Kivuva finished seventh in 1:46.39 after losing one shoe. The armed forces man had to run for 600 metres on one shoe and suffered serious cuts on his exposed heel after getting spiked.
“I don’t know what happened. I felt someone spike me in the first 200 metres and I had to run without a shoe for 600 metres. It’s is normally eight guys in a championships but we had ten today and that made it tough,” said a desolate Kivuva.
Despite the misfortune Kivuva remained upbeat, “My day will come.”
Kirwa’s medal helped soothe the Kenyan team after unbelievably poor performances earlier Sunday.
The 5,000 metres trio could only watch in awe as Kenenisa Bekele sped away to add the 12 and a half laps race onto the 10,000 metres title he won last Monday.
Eliud Kipchoge was fifth, Vincent Chepkok ninth and Joseph Ebuya 13th in Kenya’s worst performance in the race since 1987.
Kenya ended the competition with four gold medals, five silver and two bronze finishing third in the medal standings behind USA and Jamaica.