Justin Lagat wrote about the 400 meter hurdle race and how Boniface Mucheru took the silver in an event that, besides Nicholas Bett, Kenya has had little success. Mark my word, Kenya will become a power in the 400 meter hurdles.
Boniface Mucheru wins a rare silver medal for Kenya in the men’s 400m hurdles
Boniface Mucheru beat a competitive field to win a silver medal on the seventh day of athletics at the ongoing Rio Olympic Games.
There were two Kenyans in the finals, Haron Koech in lane eight and Mucheru in seven. The reigning IAAF world champion, Nicholas Bett, having stumbled in the first rounds had failed to advance. Perhaps, it would have been the first time that three Kenyan athletes reached the Olympic finals in a sprint event. But, all in all this was a good indication that Kenyans are now getting interested in the sprint events and are slowly by slowly getting to the 100m in the near future.
In a fast race that saw half of the athletes in the final record their national records, Mucheru had followed Koech until the about the last 150m when they became parallel with each other as USA’s Kerron Clement appeared to be slightly ahead of everyone coming to the last bend. Koech then started to fade backwards while Mucheru maintained a strong run and even appeared to be gradually gaining some ground on Clement towards the finish line. Clement won in 47.73 as Mucheru followed closely in a Kenyan national record of 47.78. Yasmani Copello came third to take the bronze medal in a new Turkey’s national record of 47.92.
Before the semi-finals of the men’s 1500m, a race that Kenyans hoped for a clean sweep of medals, Elijah Manangoi, on his FaceBook account, had posted a picture of himself in crutches informing fans that he was unfortunately not going to be in the semi-finals after getting injured.
The two other Kenyans, Asbel Kiprop and Ronald Kwemoi advanced comfortably to the finals by winning their respective heats. There still remains a big hope for two medals for Kenya here; perhaps a 1-2 finish, or a 1-3 finish.
Only Margaret Nyairera remained to carry the hopes of a medal for Kenya in the women’s 800m event after both Eunice Sum and Winnie Chebet failed to advance to the finals. But, going against Caster Semenya in the finals, perhaps the best that Kenyans can hope for from Nyairera is a silver medal.