Celliphine Chespol won the steeplechase on Day 4, showing the talent and focus many fans and observers have come to see in Chespol over the past few years. Here’s Justin Lagat’s feature on the Day 4 events of the 2018 U20 IAAF World Championships.
As the days draw closer to the conclusion of the world under 20 championships this weekend, the races are getting more exciting as athletes try their best to win the remaining medals for their nations. So far, as it stands at the close of the fourth day, Kenya leads on the medal table with a total of four gold medals followed by Great Britain with three and Jamaica in third with two gold medals. There are just two more days to go, although, the number of finals happening in these final days keep getting more and more. There will be a total of twelve finals tomorrow and nine finals on the last day.
One of the exciting races on the fourth day was the women’s 3000m final. In the final stages, it appeared as though the top three were going to be placed according to their personal best times. Kenya’s Celliphine Chespol who has a personal best time of 8:58.78 was leading Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi with a personal best of 9:12.74 and Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai with 9:16.89 was just behind the two.
However, as Chespol continued to extend her lead after the bell. Yavi appeared to be struggling and Chemutai slowly started to gain some ground on her. Chespol looked very comfortable in the last 100m as she went on to cross the finish line in a new championship record of 9:12.78 at the same time defending her title. Chemutai overtook the tiring Yavi after the last barrier to win the silver medal in 9:18.87 as the clearly exhausted runner from Bahrain almost walked across the finish line in 9:23.47.
Except for the women 400m hurdles, where South Africa’s Zeney Van Der Walt won it in 55.34, other sprint events in the evening did not go to the usual countries known to dominate them. Great Britain dominated the men’s 200m final by finishing 1-2 with Jona Efoloko registering a personal best time of 20.48 to win. Jonathan Sacoor of Belgium ran a new national u20 record of 45.03 to win the gold medal in the men’s 400m.
One race to look forward to tomorrow will be the men’s 5000m race in which Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Jacob Kiplimo will be returning for more medals. They will face other fresh favorites that include Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega and Kenya’s Edward Zakayo.
Kenya and Ethiopia seem to be set for a fierce battle in the women’s 1500m final after the two nations finished first and second in the two heats that were done earlier in the day. The Kenyan pair of Solomon Lekuta and Kipngetich Ngeno raises hopes of getting more medals for the Kenyan fans as the two won their respective heats in the men’s 800m races.