Kiprop, Kiplagat, Chepseba in 1500 final, Solo chase for Sum in 800

By evelyn watta
Aug 17, 2021
  • Eunice Sum will be the only Kenyan contender in the women's 800m final.(Photo by Norman Katende:Ugandasports)

Moscow - The men’s 1500m on Friday was a well calculated race, that favoured the quartet all looking to make the World championship final and boost their chances of defending Asbel Kiprop’s gold from 2011.

Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat racing in the opening semi planned to command the pace, that could favour their teammates Bethwell Birgen and Nixon Chepseba in the following race.

Kiprop chose his all familiar back racing before easing forward to join Kiplagat who weaved his way through a crowded pack with about 200m then raced step by step with the defending champion.

Kiprop qualified in 3:43.30 in line with Kiplagat, the silver winner two years ago, second in 3:43.52 as Ethiopian Mekonnen Gebremedhin closed in for third in 3:43.54.

“I will run a very different race from how I have raced in the heats and the semis’. I will run with everything I have in the final, “said Kiplagat of what should be an explosive race on Sunday.

“There is hope for Kenya in what should be a quick final,”Kiprop weighed in.

“We had planned to slow the pace so that we give a chance to Chepseba and Birgen to qualify even as fastest losers.”

Chepseba moved forward after the second lap and seized the lead clocking 3:35.88 ahead of American Mathew Centrowitz, the bronze medalist from Daegu(3:35.88).

But even the co-ordinated race could not help Birgen ease to the final as he faded to 10th after he was boxed in the last 200m and lost his footing alongside Souleiman Ayanleh, the Djiboutian bronze winner in the 800m, who also missed the final.

Sum's race 

Equally unlucky was Winny Chebet in the women’s 800m whose inexperience cost her as she struggled in her semis leaving Eunice Sum to do duty solo in the Sunday afternoon final.

Sum’s second lane start boosted her qualification allowing her to 'test her form and speed' in her 2:00.70 win ahead of the Olympic and world champion Mariya Savinova, the clear favourite.

“I will have to work hard and struggle in the final now that am all alone. Mariya is definitely the one to beat. I still have to figure out her race, sometimes she is fast sometime she stays back,”admitted the African silver medalist who failed to make the London final last year due to lack of finishing speed.