NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – Youngsters Jacob Krop and Nicholas Kimeli zoomed into Monday’s final of the 5,000m at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar after both finished within the top five qualifying slots in the heats on Friday night.
While Krop finished second in his heat, Kimeli finished fifth in the second heat, just managing to come in within the automatic qualification slots.
Kenya is looking to win the 5,000m final for the first time in 14 years, since Benjamin Limo won it in 2005. Kenya is represented by only two athletes in the race after Daniel Simiyu and Michael Kibet were barred from competing by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
In the first semi-final, Krop, the reigning African junior champion stuck to the lead from the start, showing immense confidence for an 18-year old in a race that had defending champion Muktar Edris and compatriot Selemon Barega.
Krop kept to the lead for the entire race, though he dropped two places down at the bell. However, at the home stretch, he managed to dig into his energy reserves to stride forward and only just lost out to Barega who dipped in from the outside.
The 20 year old Kimeli meanwhile stuck to the leading pack for most of the race and managed to stride faster than his namesake Isaac who now runs for Belgium to finish fifth.
Krop timed 13:24.94 in a slow heat one while Kimeli ran faster than him clocking 13:20.82 in finishing fifth in his race.
Kenyan turned American Paul Chelimo, part of Eliud Kipchoge’s pace-making team in the INEOS 1:59 challenge and bronze medalist from London 2017 won the race in 13:20.18.