Athletics: Ethiopian upstages Kenyans as Zakayo surrenders 3,000m title

Kenya's Stanley Waithaka and Edward Zakayo celebrate silver and Bronze in boy's 3000m finals during the IAAF World U18 Championships at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday 16/07/17.Photo/Elvis Ogina (Nairobi)

Edward Zakayo could do little to stop Ethiopian’s Selemon Barega from sprinting to victory in the 3,000m final on the closing day of the IAAF World Under-18 Championships yesterday.

As expected, the battle was built around the Kenyans and the Ethiopian as the rest of the world followed, with Beraga clocking a new personal best at 7:47.16 to win gold.

Sixteen-year-old Zakayo, who was the second favourite behind Berega, clocked a new personal best time of 7:49.17 to win silver.

Zakayo won gold in 5,000m at last year’s IAAF world Under-20 Championships in Poland

“My target was to win gold, but the Ethiopian beat us in the finish. Our team strategy was to go for the first two positions,” said Zakayo.

Stanley Mburu, a Form Four student at Racheri High School in Nyandarua, was not impressed by his own 7:50.64 bronze medal performance.

“I take the bronze for now, but will focus better next time,” said Mburu, who ran cautiously behind the two Ethiopians.

Berega’s teammate Milkesa Mengesha, who ran virtually the entire race in front of the pack, faded to fourth position with a 7:55.29.

“I came to the final having watched the Kenyans and was confident of a good show. My strategy was to kick in the last 200m, which went according to plan,” said Berega, who said he is now ready for major championships.

[Dennis Okeyo]

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