Chespol, Manangoi through to finals
Jackline Wambui and Lydia Jeruto glide into Friday’s semi finals
Chebet strikes gold for Kenya in U-20
Chespol and Manangoi lead medal chase at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships.
Beatrice Chebet laboured to strike Kenya’s first gold in 5,000m at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, on Tuesday.
It was an East African affair in the race that Kenyans battled Ugandans and Ethiopians. Chebet produced a storming run to chalk up victory in 15:34.0.
World under-20 3,000m steeplechase record holder Celliphine Chespol and World Under-18 1,500m champion George Manangoi booked their tickets into tomorrow’s finals at the Tampere Stadium here.
Chespol, who first made her mark internationally by winning gold at the IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Cali, Colombia, in 2015, won her heat in 9:45.6 ahead of Bearung Montanna Macavoy of Australia (9:59.6) and Japanese Manami Nishiya (10:02.8).
World Under-18 silver medallist Mercy Chekurui also made it to the finals in 9:50.05 behind heat winner Peruth Chemutai of Uganda who timed 9:34.3.
Kenyan-born-Bahraini Winfred Yavi won the other heat in 9:52.2 ahead of Ethiopia’s Agrie Belachew (9:59.9) and Briella Gear of America (10:09.8).
“My body has acclimatised and I am happy to have made it to the finals. We expect stiff challenge from Yavi of Bahrain and Uganda’s Chemutai. They are strong but I have competed against them before so I am not worried,” said Chespol, who defends her title.
Chepkurui said: “Today’s mission was to qualify to the final and real battle will be on Thursday (tomorrow).”
In men’s 1,500m, Justus Soget and Manangoi, the younger brother of World 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi sealed their spots in the finals.
Soget (3:44.7) beat Ethiopian Birhanu Sorsa (3:44.9) and Cooper Teare of America who returned third in 3:45.9.
Manangoi (3:51.4) looks to add another jewel to the 2017 World Under-18 gold medal he bagged in Nairobi. He finished second behind European Under-20 champion Jakob Ingerbrigtsen of Norway (3:51.3) and Algeria’s Oussama Cherrad (3:52.7).
“I have not recovered well. I have been suffering from flu and I am glad to have made it to the finals,” said Managoi.