Faith Chepngetich warmed up for the London Olympics with a superlative display in the 1500m to ensure Kenya finished second in the medal standings with four Gold medals in the final day of competition at the World Junior championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Conseslus Kipruto had overwhelmingly won the 3000m steeplechase also in a championship record of 8:08.91 to impressively confirm Kenya’s supremacy at the history of the event.
Chepngetich comfortably won the 1500m race on Sunday in 4:04.96 a championship record.
Chepngetich adds World junior title to her collection
Chepngetich completed in style a brilliant hat trick of international medals as her overwhelming victory today comes after last year’s World Youth 1500m gold medal and the World Cross Country Junior medal also managed on the Spanish soil of Punta Umbría, where she ran barefoot.
"When I entered to stadium I saw that Conseslus got the gold medal and Gilbert got the silver medal it gaves me a lot of energy to run,"said Chepngetich who wil race in the 1500m in London.
Ethiopia’s World Youth silver medallist Senberi Teferi made the very early pace but Chepngetich, holder of a 4:03.82WJL coming to Barcelona, unleashed a first change of speed just before the 400m point which was covered in 1:06.86.
The diminutive Kenyan opened a 10-metre margin over the rest of the field in a matter of a few strides but she was soon reeled in by Teferi, her fellow Kenyan Nancy Chepkwemoi and Serbia’s reigning European Junior champion Amela Terzic.
The 800m point was hit in 2:14.99 with Teferi in the lead closely followed by the two Kenyans and Terzic.
The bell marked the decisive movement of the race as Chepngetich opened full gas to break away from her chasers effortlessly. Terzic passed Teferi(4:08.28).
Kipruto impresses in 3000m SC
Taking advantage of an ideal cloudy day for the stamina events – although it was also windy – the World Youth 2000m Steeplechase champion Kipruto took the lead from the gun also joined by his fellow Kenyan Gilbert Kiplangat Kirui, in 8:11.27.
Already at the opening water jump the Kenyan duo had built a 10m lead over a chasing trio made up of Morocco’s Hicham Sigueni, Ethiopia’s Meresa Kahasay and Eritrea’s Weynay Ghebresilasie the latter setting most of the pace.
Kirui then moved to the front to help Kipruto keep the frantic pace alive but barely one lap later the world leader regained the top spot to hit the 2000m in 5:25:11.
At the bell Kipruto led with a handsome margin over a faltering Kirui, himself still head and shoulders ahead of the now chasing quartet.
Kipruto ran an incredibly closing lap looking for a fast time and his effort was rewarded with a new stunning championships record of 8:06.10 – also a PB - while Kirui landed silver – as he already did at the World Youth last year – timed at 8:19.94.
“I am really happy because I not only got the gold but also achieved good personal results. It was about time too,” said a beaming Kipruto.
‘We were running with Conseslus.He made the attack and I couldn't catch him,”conceded Kirui. “He deserved the gold and we made the double on steeplechase.” The bronze medal was finally taken by Sigueni in 8:30.14.
Unlike in Moncton when Kenya won all the five men's event at 800m or longer, Kipruto’s gold medal will remain the only title taken by the country in Barcelona.
Botswana rule 800m
Except for the inaugural 1986 edition, Kenya had medalled at every championships with no fewer than eight gold medals to its credit and Barcelona proved to be no different but the sweetest prize here went for Botswana’s Nijel Amos who captured gold in a scorching Championships record of 1:43.79 to slice a full second from the previous best.
The Kenyan pair of Timothy Kitum, 1:44.59 for silver, and Edwin Kiplagat Melly, a PB of 1:44.79 for bronze, joined Amos on the podium.
Compiled from Iaaf