Jelimo, Jepksogei ease into final, relay team disqualified

Aug 10, 2021
  • Pamela Jelimo of Kenya.

Defending champion Pamela Jelimo and Janeth Jepskogei will once again spearhead Kenya’s chase for Olympic medals in what would be an epic 800m final on Saturday at the Olympic stadium.

South African Caster Semenya, Russian World Champion Mariya Savinova all qualified for the final that will also include Burundian teenage sensation Francine Niyonsaba.

Jelimo opted for a tactical qualifying race ahead of trailing behind Greek Eleni Filandra and Russian Ekaterina Poistogova in the first lap, which the field crossed in 1:00.15.

She then eased ahead at the 600m point remaining and surged forward to book her final slot in 1:59.42 ahead of Poistogova in 1:59.45.

Said Jelimo: “It was a tactical race, they took it out slowly. My plan was to qualify for the final. There is a great pressure (going into the final which will be a difficult race but I am in good form and I don't fear anybody."

Semenya, the 2009 World champion, equally looked comfortable in the second semi final slowly moving to overrun Jepkosgei who had led for most of the race. Semenya ran the day’s fastest time of 1:57.67 ahead of the third Russian Elena Arzhakova(1:58.36) while the Kenyan sailed through as the one of the two fastest losers in third in 1:58.26.

"I think the time I ran makes me very confident,”Semenya said.

“ You have to think about your own race, you have to think of yourself that’s what ill do for the final."

Savinova, the world champion showed her intent to win the gold with her 1:58.57 win just ahead of the Niyonsaba, the African gold winner who clocked 1:58.67.

Relay team disqualified after dramatic heat

Chances of seeing more of David Rudisha’s majestic runs was extinguished after the 4 x400m relay team was disqualified in a dramatic heat one earlier Thursday.

Boniface Mweresa had gotten the Kenyan team to a perfect start and was lying third when he passed on the Baton to Vincent Mumo. But with about 100m remaining Mumo cut across South African Ofentse Mogawana and both men crushed to the track.

Mumo quickly picked up and handed over to Boniface Mucheru then Alfas Kishoyian who finished way behind the winners Trinidad and Tobago.

The Kenyan team led by Head coach Julius Kirwa lodged a protest looking to have their team reinstated but after watching the video of the race agreed their athlete was at fault.

The jury of appeal however advanced South Africa to the final, considering that their chances had been severely damaged in the incident.

The South African runner had to be helped out of the track as he stayed on the ground, having hurt his shoulder as he was racing to hand over the baton to the ‘Blade’ runner Oscar Pistorius.

The disqualification put to rest, Rudisha’s hopes of emulating his father Daniel, who was part of the 4x400m team that won silver in the Mexico Games.

"I was hoping that the Kenyans would qualify and then I can run. I was very disappointed and sad when they crushed out,"Rudisha said.

The second heat was won by Bahamas a heat which sawJamaica fail to finish the relay after Jermaine Gonzalez pulled a muscles while the Felix Sanchez hopes for a double were put to rest after the Dominican team was disqualified for an illegal baton change.

 

 Evelyn Watta in London

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