Eunice sums it up with 800 Gold

By evelyn watta
Aug 18, 2021
  • Eunice Sum wins the womens 800m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Photo by Getty Images/IAAF)

  • Eunice Jepkoech Sum the womens 800m world champion. (Photo by Getty Images)

Moscow - Eunice Sum sealed the nation’s campaign at the World championships with a surprise victory in the 800m, surpassing her expectations of only racing in the final and making her only the second Kenyan after her mentor Janeth Jepksogei to win the world title.

Her victory was well received in the capital of Nairobi with fans calling her 'Awesum' as she made Kenya's national anthem play twice inside 10 minutes.

Just 25 minutes earlier, Asbel Kiprop had redeemed himself from a whacked last season with superb gun to tape front running as Kenya missed out again on the envisaged medal sweep, thanks to poor finishing strategy.

An awesome Sum’s front race running behind American Alysia Johnson Montano who had sprung forward at the gun earned Kenya only her only the second gold in world championships and the fourth medal after Jepkosgei’s gold in Osaka, Silver in Berlin and bronze rom Daegu.

After an impressive 56.06, she timed her move at the 200m and eased past a slowing Montano who later lost her step and went down at the finish line with Russian Mariya Savinova charging behind the duo.

But with 100m to go it was not only Sum’s steady stride that the rest of the field was racing against but a tenacious runner fixated on picking her country’s fifth gold medal.

She won it in a personal best of 1:57.38, it was Savinova’s fastest run of the season that earned her silver in 1:57.80 a drop from her Daegu win while Brenda Martinez settled for bronze in 1:57.91. “I am so happy!I was ready for anything today even to be number eight but the Gold, when I …..”Sum said softly after an exciting victory watched by millions globally.

“When I got to the last 100m I saw I was really moving and the others seemed to be stuck. Then I knew the gold was mine. I saw them charging behind me, I said ok lets go, ill show you what I have.”

Jepkosgei ecstatic! 

Jepkosgei who sadly missed out on the championships after aggravating her hamstring injury, screamt herself hoarse at the stands just after the finish line alongside their coach Claudio Berardelli.

“I am so happy! Happier than she is!That was just like me running, I didn’t miss the final! We won,” said a teary Jepkosgei overwhelmed by her teammates outstanding feat.

“I saw the way she started and I knew she would win it. What I have is what you have. I did it so go out there and do what I did!” Besides Jepkosgei who was shortlisted for the Moscow 800m there was Winnie Chebet who was locked out in the semi-finals.

But Sum’s win carried on the country’s tradition of churning out a new middle distance sensation in every-other championships in recent past after Jepkosgei,Pamela Jelimo(800m), Nancy Jebet Langat(1500m) and Hellen Obiri(1500m).

“I dedicate this win to my coach Claudio and Janeth. They believed in me and encouraged me in the call room. Normally I am a 1500m runner and recently I was debating between the 800m and 1500, but I think for now I will stick to the 800,”said the African silver winner behind Burundian teenager Francine Niyonsaba, one of the many favourites who skipped Moscow. 

She will race in Stockholm on Thursday in the Diamond League. 

Kenya wrapped up its campaign fourth with five gold, four silver and three Bronze medals behind hosts Russia with seven gold, United States and Jamaica both with six.