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KENYANS STRIKE MORE GOLD: Triumphant youth team to land tomorrow as Ruto, Kimunyan win

Last updated 5 years ago | By JONATHAN KOMEN

Davis Kiplangat (0769) leads Richard Yator in the boys' 3,000m semis during the IAAF World Championship trials at Nyayo stadium on June 16, 2015. Chebet won the race while Chelagant was second.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

Kenya’s squad lands back tomorrow after a successful outing at the ninth IAAF World Youth Championships that concluded in Cali, Colombia, yesterday morning.

The team amassed 13 medals – five gold, four silver and four bronze –to finish second behind USA with 19 medals (eight gold, five silver and six bronze), who recorded their sixth overall title at the biennial championships.

Japan collected five medals (3-1-1) to finish third as Ethiopia bagged eight medals (2-3-3) and South Africa with five medals (2-2-1) to wind up fourth and fifth.

The 25-member squad produced a thrilling final day at the Pasqual Querrero Stadium in Cali, Colombia, courtesy of a richly deserved aggressive front-running display by Vincent Kipyegon Ruto, who won the 2000m steeplechase in 5:27.58.

The diminutive Kipyegon simply ran the legs off 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion Wogene Sebsibe of Ethiopia to ensure Kenya wins gold medal in the event for the seventh time in nine editions of the IAAF World Youth Championships.

It only took 500m for Ruto and Geofrey Rotich, and the Ethiopian pair of Sebisibe and Tegenu Mengistu to open up a clear advantage over the rest of the field, or should that be the rest of the world, as the final predictably formed into two separate races.

With two laps remaining, Rotich was the next to find the pace too hot to handle as the battle for the gold medal turned into a two-way fight.

Sebisibe, who had finished two places in front of Kipyegon when winning silver in the 3000m steeplechase at the African Junior Championships in March, was happy to track Kipyegon. Sebisibe (5:29.41) bagged silver while Rotich settled for bronze in 5:30.16.

“The wind was a small problem during the race but I still produced my best performance,” said a delighted Ruto. “I always expected this victory.”

In a race that boiled down to a frantic three-way dash to the line, it was Kenya’s Richard Yator Kimunyan who ultimately had the most gears and took the boys’ 3000m gold medal in 7:54.45 yesterday morning.

Kimunyan led home a 1-2 for the distance-running superpower, and it was the sixth time in nine editions of the IAAF World Youth Championships that the title has been won by Kenya.

His compatriot Davis Kiplangat – who had edged him in close finishes twice already this season – had to settle for silver in 7:54.52.

Ethiopia’s Tefera Mosisa took bronze in a personal best of 7:55.04 in a race where the East African dominance was rarely threatened.

“The race was not too hard for me,” said Kimunyan. “The finish was very fast and I was strong. It’s great for Kenya, because my colleagues are used to winning.”

Kiplangat was also pleased with his silver medal. “I am very happy; it was a battle and there were a couple of other good fighters in there, so this is a good result.”

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