World youth Silver medallist Alphas Kishoyian headlined the second day of the IAAF world junior championships in Barcelona with a brilliant solo re-run to qualify for the final race, on a day when Kenya only managed a bronze medal in the 5000m women race.
Kishoyian blew away the Barcelona crowds with a fantastic run to qualify third from heat one in an astonishing 46.46 seconds for Thursday’s final.
Barely an hour earlier, Kishoyian had lined up with the rest of the field in the first of the three semi-final of the day racing in lane six.
But the starter failed to notice that the promising Kenyan sprinter was not ready for the start when the gun went off.
This cost Kishoyian a place in the final, as he was last off the blocks but still went ahead to finish well over 48 seconds.
Following an appeal by the Kenyan officials and an admission by the starter that he did not see whether the Kenyan was not ready for the start.
The organisers agreed to let him race in a rare solo qualifying run to see whether he could run within the time frame time of the fastest loser who timed at 46.56.
With no one chasing him down or no one to race after, he got off very fast and timed at 21 seconds in the first 200m. He steadily paced himself as he ran an amazing 46.46 and qualify as one of one the fastest three losers alongside compatriot Boniface Mweresa who placed third in 46.20 in the third heat.
Favourite Luguelín Santos qualified fastest in 45.98 from the dramatic first heat.
Ethiopians rule 5000m women’s final
Coming into the championships as the fastest performer by far thanks to a 15:11.53 performance, Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba confirmed her favourite status in the women’s final final but winning didn’t prove as easy as she might have expected as Diriba only pipped her fellow Ethiopian Ruti Aga in the very last metre.
Actually, it was photo-finish final with respective clockings of 15:32.94 and 15:32.95, a career best for Aga. Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Tirop bagged the bronze medal also in a PB of 15:36.74.
It was the third 5000m 1-2 for the Ethiopian squad and the country has now managed 6 out of 9 titles at stake so far since the event was only introduced in 1996.
After a quick opening lap which was covered in 1:12.46 the 18-women group began to decrease the speed and Uganda’s Nancy Cheptegei pulled the pack through a pedestrian 3:18.16 first kilometre.
Another increasingly fast third kilometre in 3:05.59 was enough to thin the leading group to seven by the 3000m point reached in 9:37.31 - the two Kenyans-Agnes Jebet and Carline Kipkurui, the two Ethiopians among other contenders.
Always with Aga and Tirop ruling the race, the clock was reading 12:39.31 by the 4000m point for a quick 3:02.00 split and shortly afterwards Kudashkina and Hatton also lost ground.
Kipkurui faltered some 700m from the tape and it became clear then who would occupy barring disaster the podium places, Aga, Diriba and Tirop.
By the bell Diriba led marginally ahead of Aga but her compatriot passed her with 350m remaining to unleash a powerful change of pace which left Tirop without winning chances in a matter of few strides.
Diriba managed to pip Aga some 50m before the tape and the two 18-year-olds romped home virtually even but Diriba was given the win by the narrowest of the margins, one hundredth of a second.
“ I want to continue in the traditon of great Ethiopian runners. My dream is to be like Dibaba,”said Diriba.
Way back, America’s Hatton was fourth in 15:50.32 ahead of Kipkurui’s 15:58.10 for fifth.
Kenyan Agatha Kimaswai missed out on the girls 800m finals after ranking third in 2:03.98 behind British favourite Jessica Judd(2:02.30).
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Additional reporting from iaaf.org