NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – Caren Chebet’s stunning gold in the Girls 2000m Steeplechase underlined Kenya’s dominance in event as the host nation shot up to second in the medal standings at the 10th IAAF World U18 Championships.
Clearly it was a gold medal for Kenya after the bell when Chebet and compatriot Mercy Chepkirui pulled a 50m gap from closest rival Ethiopian Etalemahu Sintayehu.
Chebet eventually produced a lightening kick after Chepkirui who was leading fell at the last water barrier to win the race in a Personal Best of 6:24.80.
Chepkirui, a pre-race favourite settled for silver despite trying to catch up with Chebet, clocking 6:26.10
The result meant Kenya hauled a total of five medals, two gold and three silver to lie second on the log behind leaders Cuba that has a total of four medals, three gold and one silver.
“My dream has come true, I had hoped to win gold and this victory means that I have a great future ahead. My coach urged me to my best and I am happy I did not let him down. I dedicate this gold to my family,” Chebet, 17-year-old from Saramei Secondary School said.
Chebet on the other hand was disappointed with the silver, saying he did not see it coming since all her focus was on gold.
“I did not clear the last barrier well that led to my fall. When I woke up I did not have the energy, but I tried to catch up my compatriot but could only manage to kick 10m to the finish line but it was too late,” Chepkirui who now turns her attention to next year’s IAAF World U20 Championships stated.
Having pulled away from Chebet in the closing stages, Chepkirui looked to have the race wrapped up on the final lap, but she stumbled at the last water jump and was left sprawled on the track.
Yanking herself back up, Chepkirui soon regained her rhythm, but she could not respond to a late surge from Chebet and settled for second place.
-Additional material obtained from IAAF-