distance runners finish world juniors in style
Kenyan middle distance runners Conseslus Kipruto and the tiny figure of Faith Kipyegon highlighted a magnificent final night’s action with their 3000m Steeplechase and 1500m successes when the IAAF World Junior Championships concluded after six days in Barcelona last night.
Kipruto decimated fellow Kenyan Willy Ruto’s six year old Championships record of 8:14.00 when leading from gun-to-tape he blasted out a time of 8:06.10.
His remarkable performance also improved the world lead he set at Doha’s Samsung Diamond League meet in May where he demonstrated his vast potential for the future.
Gilbert Kiplangat who was just over two seconds behind when runner-up on that hot night in the desert, had to settle again for second best after being destroyed by his fellow countryman’s last kilometre of 2:40.98 clocking 8:19.94 with Morocco’s Hicham Sigueni a distant third in 8:30.14.
Kipruto 17, the fastest man at that age in the chase and maintaining Kenya’s unbeaten championships gold medal winning tradition at the distance said: “I not only got the gold but also achieved a good personal result.”
Kipyegon next on track quickly followed on from where Kipruto left off when motoring to a new championships record in a race which she effectively controlled after the first 300m.
The world leader with 4:03.82 did not better that time but not really challenged stood head-and-shoulders over her much taller rivals around the 1992 Olympic Stadium in 4:04.96.
Last year’s world youth gold medallist on hearing the bell really put her foot down on the back straight only Serbia’s Amela Terzic made any real attempt to take up the chase and was rewarded with her second Serbian record of the championships in 4:07.59 with Ethiopia’s Senbere setting a personal best 4:08.28 behind her.
Nijel Amos the world leader and pre-race favourite carrying an injury, bided his time until the final straight before unleashing his renowned sprint finish and won Botswana’s first ever gold medal in any event with a championships record of 1:43.79.
Amos roared ahead of his closest rival Timothy Kitum to beat the Kenyan by a healthy 0.77 with the latter’s team-mate Edwin Melly setting a personal best 1:44.79 for the bronze medal.
They were followed home by the tenacious Wesley Vaquez who did almost all of the pace-making including a first lap of 51.18 until wilting in the final burn up and was rewarded with a Puerto Rican record of 1:45.29.