Terrific Kipyegon grabs 1500 gold, costly games record for Obiri

By evelyn watta
Jul 30, 2021
  • Faith Kipyegon(left) leads the women's 1500m during the Kenyan trials. She won the Commonwealth Games title.

GLASGOW, Faith Kipyegon confirmed her status as a world-beater as she won the 1500m gold in splendid style on Tuesday night at Hampden park stadium as World indoor champion Hellen Obiri’s bursting form painfully bungled her medal chances.

Obiri, Kipyegon,the former world junior and youth champion and Selah Busienei stuck together with the latter leading the fied through the 400m in 1:10.94 and the 800 mark in 2:8.95 before England’s Laura Weightman an Olympic finalist raced ahead fixed on spoiling the calculated Kenyan sweep as they approached the bell.

It is a charge Kipyegon and Obiri shrugged off regaining the lead with about 300m to go with Weightman hot on their heels as Busienei the early pace setter, dropping to the tail end of the pack.

Obiri who just 24 hours earlier had ran a blistering pace obliterating the games record to 4:04.43 ran out of steam as Weightman went past her with 50m to go, a surge that jerked Kipyegon, to action as she sped home in 4:08.94, her first championship title barely a year after ascending to the senior ranks.

Next up Africa medals  

“I couldn’t have done this without my teammates. We planned to pace together and it did until after the bell when we realized Weightman was right there with us when I sped off. I am very happy with my progression as a senior,”said the 20 year old who reached the semifinals in London where she contested as a junior.

Weightman picked silver in 4:09.24 as Canadian Kate Van Buskirk closed in for bronze in 4:09.41, with the stunned Obiri who led Kenya to the world relay record in Bahamas crossing home to a disastrous sixth (4:10.84).

“Just as we did today we shall work together at the African championships where we are also targeting to qualify 1-2 for the world cup,” added Kipyegon who plans to run in Zurich before the September world cup race that will also be held in Morocco.

Kenya now stands 10th in the medal table with 4 gold, 4 silver and a bronze  behind leaders Australia with 34 gold, 31silver and 36 bronze.

Boxers knocked out

Over at the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre, SECC, Elly Ajowi and Nicholas Okoth’s hope for boxing medals were frustrated by Northern Ireland pugilists, Sean McGlinchy sailed through to the semifinals on a unanimous victory over Ajowi in their light-heavy contest as Okoth fell to Joe Fitzpatrick by a similar margin in the light weight contest.

Elizabeth Andiego fell to Australian Kaye Scott also by straight points in their middleweight bout.

Kenyan Hollis Mkanga opened Kenya's wrestling campaign on a losing note falling in his quarterfinal men’s freestyle 125kg contest to Canadian Korey Jarvis 11-1.

Both wrestlers had been granted byes to the quarters.

Cyclists stuggle to master bikes

Barely familiarized with the new mountain bikes Kenyan cyclists struggled in the women’s cross country none of them able to finish the 32km course.

Joyce Nyaruri, Mary Mburu and Mary Mburu all listed as did not finish. “It wasn’t the track that was difficult. It was my wheels.

The front one went and then the back one, I would have finished if only my bike was working well, so I had to stop in the first round,” said Mburu of the race won by Canadian Catharine Pendrel in 1:39.29.

It was the same disappointing twist in the men’s competition with all the three cyclists failing to finish the competition won by Anton Cooper of New Zealand.

Samson Gichuru, dropped out with three laps to go, Anthony Muite gave up with four left while Benard Kabiro dropped earlier with five remaining.

Table Tennis, Badminton 

The table tennis teams posted mixed scores at the Scotsun centre with Mgenya Njani going past Laura Sinon of Seychelles in straight sets of 4-0(11-9 11-2 11-8 11-9)in their singles match as Kumar Shar went down by a similar margin to Welsh Charlotte Carey and Guyana’s Natalie Cummings.

Men’s singles contender teenager Michael Otieno fell to islanders Trinidad and Tobago’s Dexter St.Louis in straight sets of 4-0 and Barbados’ Kevin Farley; a fate that also befell Peter Muturi against Australian David Powell before he recovered to see off Botswana’s Thobo Matlhatsi by the same score of 12-10 11-7 11-6 11-7. Anthony Mathenge also went down 4-1 to Jamaica’s Kane Watson.

In Badminton Kenyans fell in quick succession with only Victor Munga getting past the preliminary round  beating Jersey's Alexander Hutchings and will next play Merrilees Kieran from the host nation,Scotland.

Australian Jeff Tho beat Kenyan Joseph Matheri 2-0 in their singles match as Patrick Mbogo fell by the same margin to Canadian Andrew D’Souza.

Lavina Martins also looset her women’s qualifier to Jersey’s Pasturel Solen as Canadian Turner Carisa overcame Sheila Muthoni. 

The pair of Mbogo and Mathenge won their doubles match against Norfolk Islands’ Mchael Donohoe and Joanne Snell as Matheri and Martins crushed to South Africa’s Andres Malan and Jennifer Fry.