The 3rd day of Athletics in Gold Coast belonged to Caster Semenya in the women’s 1500m final:
One of the most anticipated finals on the third day of athletics at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast was the women’s 1500m in which South Africa’s Caster Semenya was already seen by many as the clear favorite. But, there was some hope for a gold medal by Kenyan fans in the relatively new and very talented Beatrice Chepkoech.
Some laws of nature are well known, but have only not yet been documented well. Like, when there is a very high anticipation for something to happen, something usually happens to delay it. For example, the only time that one usually fails to locate their car keys is when they are in big hurry. Or, usually a traffic jam forms whenever one is getting late to catch their flight at the airport. It was the same case in the women’s 1500m. It got delayed by almost twenty minutes by race officials after the athletes had already arrived at the starting point. Not only was it in Australia, there was also a sudden power blackout in Kapsabet here in Kenya at the exact time when most fans were glued to their screens waiting to watch the race. Fortunately, I was able to watch it and updated most of those who requested me for the updates during the event.
As the athletes waited to be called back to the starting line, Semenya asked for a bottle of water from one of the officials and drank a little. And no sooner as the gun went off, Beatrice Chepkoech immediately took to the front and maintained a steady pace as though to ensure that it was going to be an honest 1500m race, and not a slow jog and a dash to the finish in the last stages. Semenya looked relaxed in the middle of the pack, whichever style the race was going to be run, she seemed prepared for it.
Chepkoech was able to maintain the lead up to the last 200m when Semenya easily ran past her and seeming to do so effortlessly continued to open up a gap as she went to cross the finish line in a new Games record of 4:00.71, which is also the new national record for South Africa. Chepkoech followed in a personel best time as well of 4:03.09 ahead of Melissa Courtney of Wales, also in a personal best time of 4:03.44.
Kenyans are yet to get any gold medal three days into the games, but tomorrow could be their day in the women’s 3000m steeplechase race. Celiphine Chespol will the the favorite to win gold here. It was encouraging to see other medal hopefuls also advancing to the finals.
Maximila Imali will be in the women’s 400m finals tomorrow while Wycliffe Kinyamal and Jonathan Kitilit also sailed through to the finals in the men’s 800m.