World Championships: Simiu bags Kenya first medal as Kipyegon storms into 1500m final

Kenya's Daniel Simiu Ebenyo celebrates after finishing second in the Men's 10,000m final at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games last year. [File, Standard]

Commonwealth silver medallist Daniel Ebenyo Simiu won Kenya its first medal in the 2023 World Championships on Sunday night.

Simiu won a silver medal in 10,000m in 27:52.6 moments after World Record Holders Faith Kipyegon and Abel Kipsang anchored other compatriots in booking their spots in the 1500m final, as the country’s squad intensified their hunt for glory at the World Championships.

Simiu stuck with the leading pack in a strong field comprising Joshua Cheptegei who produced his World 10,000m hat-trick and bronze medallist, Berihu Aregawi of Ethiopia, who is a former World 10,000m junior champion.

Cheptegei (27:51.42) made his major move at the bell but Ebenyo kept chasing. Last year, Kenyan men also won a silver through Stanley Mburu.

Bernard Kibet and Nicholas Kimeli finished sixth and eighth respectively.

However, hopes for a medal in the 100m through Ferdinand Omanyala were dashed after the Commonwealth champion finished seventh in a contest won by USA’s Noah Lyles (9.83) who ran a World Lead. Omanyala timed 10.07.

Tebogo of Botswana won silver as Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes took the bronze medal.

Meanwhile, the hopes for medals are high after multiple World Record Holder Faith Kipyegon and compatriot Nelly Chepchirchir superbly stormed to tomorrow’s 1500m finals in the ongoing World Championships.

This is after showcasing brilliant races in the 1500m last evening in the global athletics contest happening in Budapest.

The second heat in the women’s 1500m semi-finals was the showstopper at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest.

The heat had Kipyegon, the World Record Holder in the distance and Sifan Hassan (of the Netherlands), the second fastest, and a blistering finish was expected.

And Kipyegon, who will be competing in 5000m on Wednesday proved made a big statement in last evening’s 1500m semi-finals, beating Sifan Hassan. The Dutch star had stumbled metres to the finish in the 10000m finals on Saturday evening.

Kipyegon had on Saturday oozed class as she led Nelly Chepchirchir and Edinah Jebitok to a phenomenal cruise to last evening’s semi-finals.

Chepchirchir won Heat 3, while Jebitok finished fourth in Heat 1.

In the men’s 1500m, Olympian Abel Kipsang and youngster Reynold Kipkorir, the reigning World Under-20 champion, made it to the finals set for Wednesday.

Kipsang repeated his Saturday style of leading from the gun to through the bell to the finish, in the semi-final last evening.

But he narrowly lost to Yared Nuguse of the USA in a brutal sprint in the last 300m of the Heat One of the semi-final.

Former World Champion Timothy Cheruiyot and Kipkorir ran from behind.

But Cheruiyot could unleash a final kick to outcompete World 5000m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway who produced a powerful kick en route to the 1500m final.

Kipkorir sailed to the 1500m final after finishing six in the Heat dominated a strong field.

Kipsang won in Heat 3 to register his qualifications for the final while Kipkorir finished third in Heat 1 as Timothy Cheruiyot sailed to the finals after a sixth-place finish in Heat 2 on Saturday.

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