NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – Kenya surrendered the men’s 800m title after World U20 champion, Kipyegon Bett settled for bronze in the absence of defending and world record holder David Rudisha at the London IAAF World Championships on Tuesday.
Bett, the only Kenyan in the race, faded to third in a time of 1:45.21 after being beaten at the home straight by Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse who won gold in a seasonal best of 1:44.67 while Adam Kszczot grabbed silver in a seasonal best of 1:44.95.
“I live a dream, I’m in a dream right now, am I dreaming?” gasped 25-year-old Bosse.
Bosse who finished fourth in the Rio Olympics, produced a stunning burst with 150m to go, passing Bett and race favourite Nijel Amos of Botswana who finished fifth in 1:45.83.
He had opened a gap of several metres as they hit the finishing straight with Amos toiling and Bett one-paced.
“I was thinking about David Rudisha before the race and I was hoping for any medal because of him,” said Bett.
Kszczot came bursting from the back, eating up the ground between himself and Bosse but the Frenchman dug deep to fend off his rival and take the gold.
Amos, who had earned the favourite’s tag after Rudisha — the man who beat him in the 2012 Olympic final — withdrew before the championships injured, faded badly to finish fifth.
Amos, whose team-mate Isaac Makwala has gone down with the norovirus, had set out at a breakneck pace along with Canada’s Brandon McBride but they were both unable to sustain their efforts, with the latter finishing last.