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Chebet set for gold as Cali WYC blasts off

Girls' 2000m steeplechase winner, Sadra Felis Chebet in action. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya
Girls’ 2000m steeplechase winner, Sadra Felis Chebet in action. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, July 14- In Sandra Felis Chebet, Kenya has an athlete who looks capable of making it three girls’ 2000m title in a row for the proud steeple chasing nation when action gets underway at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia on Wednesday.

Chebet holds three of the four fastest times in the world for a girl, her best effort of 6:16.19 coming at the Youth Championships Trials in Nairobi last month.

That run puts her eight seconds clear of her closest rival in Cali, Celphine Cheptoek Chespot, who is Kenya’s second representative raising the possibility of the 1-2 and two medals on the opening day of action.

If anyone is to upset the Kenyan pair, then the Ethiopian trio of Agrie Belachew, Beletu Hailu and Asimarech Naga appear to hold the best chance.

Belachew came out on top at their trials in Addis Ababa in May, running 6:32.80, just ahead of Hailu (6:33.22) and Naga (6:33.75), although only two will run in Cali.

Of the non-Africans, Puerto Rico’s Alondra Negron, Belarus’s Tatsiana Shabanava and Hungary’s Lili Toth have all run 6:40 or quicker this year and look the strongest entries on paper.

Chebet and Cheptoek will be in action during the afternoon session of the heats hoping to make Friday’s medal race.

Trials winner Kumari Taki and Lawi Kimtai will be the first of 26 Kenyans in Colombia to step onto the track during the morning session in the men 1500m boys’ heats.

Edwin Ngeeti and Josphat Kipng’etich will be the next up in the boys’ 400m first round before Purity Joy Chepkoech and Jane Njoki battle for slots in the semis in the corresponding girls’ race to close the morning session.

Edwin Langat will feature in the boys’ Triple jump first round in the afternoon session before Chebet and Cheptoek take to the waters and barriers semis with the first gold medal in Cali being won at the last event of the programme during the boys’ 100m final.

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