Lalang' keeps Kenya's Pride in 800m sweep

Oct 10, 2021

The world's second fastest man in the 800m Boaz Lalang’ Kiplagat ensured Kenya ended the season unbeaten over the distance after leading a 1-2-3 sweep in a well executed race at the Commonwealth Games. 

Lalang’ ‘tired of finishing second” led from the gun to finish with the other Kiplagat duo of Richard and Abraham close behind.

“The race went according to plan. I was to go in front as am good in front running then Richard follows me and then Abraham tails us,” said the 21 year old.

After a dismal show at two consecutive world events- the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the world championships in the Berlin a year later, Lalang’ who has had a fine season this year stormed the finish line 1:46.40, his first ever competition medal and Kenya’s fifth Gold in Delhi.

“I feel good…After Beijing I was disappointed then the following year I had full time classes which affected my traning, but am now doing part time studies and was well prepared.”

“I have joined Bernard Lagat in training and he has really helped me. Am now looking forward to the world championships where I also want to win a medal. I also want to run 1:41 next season,” he added.

Richard was second in 1:46.95 and  Abraham third (1:47.37).

“We had a game plan and it worked, getting a 1-2 3 at the commonwealth for Kenya is great,” remarked Abraham.

“(David) Rudisha is the best in the world and we wanted to follow hist steps and do Kenya great,” put in Richard.

The Kenyan trio of World Champion Ezekiel Kemboi, Olympic Champion Brimin Kipruto and African Champion Richard Matelong have set their targets on Kenya’s third sweep of the podium in Monday’s 3000m steeplechase.

Ugandan Moses Kipsiro who spoilt Kenya’s party in the opening day by snatching the gold medal, will be looking to surprise his East Africa neighbours yet again in Monday’s 10, 000m final. The Kenyan team comprises Titus Mbishei, Daniel Salel and Joseph Birech. 

Nancy Jebet Lagat is set to become the first Kenyan athlete to win a double after breezing through the women’s 800m heats (2:01.63) behind the lanky English Emma Jackson(2:01.63).

“My knee is ok I feel good. I’d love a double but I know it’s going to be tough,” said Nancy.

Winny Chebet won the first heat in 2:02.58 while Cherono Koech struggled to qualify second from the third heat (2:03.45).

The men’s 1500m trio of Gideon Gathimba,Silas Kiplagat and James Magut will be looking to book their tickets to Tuesday’s while the 4 by 100 and 4 by 400m relay teams will also be chasing qualification for Tuesday’s final.

Kenya now tops the track and field competition medal standings with 5 gold,4 Silver and 4 Bronze medals.

 Evelyn Watta in New Delhi

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