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Rhonex hands Kenya Golden start in Finland

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Rhonex Kipruto wins the 10,000m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 (Getty Images) © Copyright

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 10 – Kenya had a perfect start in the opening day of the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships after Rhonex Kipruto gave the athletics powerhouse nation second gold thanks to his victory in the men’s 10,000m title in Tampere, Finland on Tuesday.

Little known Kipruto not only won gold but also set a Championship Record after returning 27:21.08, crossing the line first well clear of Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo, who took silver in 27:40.36 while Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi settled for bronze in a Personal Best of 27:48.4.

The other Kenyan in the race Solomon Boit faded to fourth in a Personal Best of 27:57.44.

Rhonex Kipruto wins the men’s 10,000m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 (Getty Images) © Copyright

Kiplimo started on a high with a fast pace that saw the pack split a steady 2:50 per kilometer.

The pack was reduced to eight men featuring two Eritreans, two Ethiopians, two Kenyans and two Ugandans as East Africa once again showed it’s the undisputed factory of champions when it comes to distance-running.

With 16 laps to go, the Ugandan pulled aside to make someone else do some work, and Kipruto duly obliged, kicking up the pace and pulling team-mate Solomon Boit away with him as the Kenyans showed fantastic tactics.


Rhonex Kipruto wins the men’s 10,000m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 (Getty Images) © Copyright

The race re-assembled back to five up front, with Kipruto leading the way from Uganda’s Kiplimo as Boit jogged back to third, while Ethiopian duo of Adugna and Aregawi hanged tough with the leading trio.

After a hard two laps, which didn’t manage to build a lead, Kipruto slowed to a virtual jog there to allow Boit take the lead as the Ethiopians and Ugandan started to surge again.

With 2000m left to run, Kipruto stepped foot off the gas, gaining a 25-metre lead over Kiplimo and when the bell rung, Kipruto doubled the lead over the Ugandan to go all the way and clock a Championship Record.

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