Kenya added more medals to its tally on the last day of the
IAAF World Under 18 championships on Sunday by
bagging a gold medal, two silvers and bronze in girls 800m and boys 3000m.
The gold came through Jackline Wambui who won the girls’ 800m to
increase Kenya’s gold medal tally to three.
Wambui won the race in a world leading time of 2:01.46.
Lydia Lagat clinched silver in a personal best time of 2:02.06
while Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha won bronze in 2:06.32.
“I am very proud to win this medal for my country. We
approached the race tactically
“Coming into this final, I was thinking about gold,” Wambui said.
Lagat said: “We wanted to dominate the race and
we did it. I am overjoyed to win the silver medal. It was a good race and
Wambui pushed the pace with 300m to go.”
Kenya last won the race at the under 18 level in 2009 in Italy.
In boys 3000m final, Kenya settled for silver and bronze
through Edward Zakayo and Stanley Waithaka respectively.
Zakayo was favourite to win the race but Ethiopia’s Seleman
Barega took gold in 7.47.16 with Zakayo taking the silver in a personal best time
Stanley crossed the finish line also in a personal best time
Barega and fourth placed Ethiopian compatriot Milkesa
Mengesha exchanged leads with the Kenyans for the better part of the race.
However, Barega unleashed a thrilling kick in the last 200
meters to beat the Kenyan duo.
“I expected to get gold but that boy was strong. The one
person I expected to pace my race fell so that is why I was beaten,” Zakayo
said after the race.
Compatriot Waithaka fell midway the first lap but recovered
in time to catch up with the leading pack of Zakayo, Berega and Mengesha.
“We were expecting gold and silver but we failed to live up
to the plan. I was to stay behind for three laps and let Zakayo pace the race,
but the Ethiopians couldn’t allow us.
“Every time I tried to pull away, they would accelerate and
refuse to fall behind. We couldn’t keep doing the race at such a high pace so
we pulled back.
“When we tried to stretch them on the last lap, they proved
too strong for us and that is why they won gold,” Waithaka said.
“I watched Kenyans in the semis and was confident of beating them. My strategy was kick in the last 200,” Barega said.