Kenyan duo of Stanley Mburu and Edward Zakayo have vowed to embrace team work to ensure the country retains the 3000m title when the IAAF World Under-18 Championships come to a close at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani tomorrow.
Mburu qualified for the final after placing second in Heat One in a time of 7:59.54 behind Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega (7:55.54).
Zakayo timed 8:04.85 to win Heat Two in a gun-to-tape performance in Wednesday’s action and head into the final as clear favourites.
Mburu, Form Four student at Rasheri High School in Nyandarua, said: “We ran shoulder-to-shoulder with Barega and realised that we had opened a gap. I then decided to slow down because I still have a final to run.”.
“What I wanted was to test endurance and gauge sprint finish. It is a little bit tough but I think with clear planning and good strategy, we will top the podium,” he added.
The 18-year old boy is drawing inspiration from the two-time World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor.
“Kamworor is my role model. I like his running style because he is good at mind games and knows how to plan his game well. I want to emulate him,” Mburu added.
Zakayo, a Form One student at Kapsait High School, said he will be cautious in the final, having been stepped on thrice while competing in Heat 2.
“The guy from Ethiopia kept stepping on me despite continuously warning him to watch his steps. The Heats opened our eyes for the final which will require a well planned game-plan if we are to secure both medals (gold and silver),” Zakayo said.
Richard Kimunyan and Davis Kiplangat earned Kenya gold and silver in the previous championships in Cali, Colombia.