Samuel Tefera takes the gold in the Men’s 1,500m, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, silver and Abel Kipsang, bronze, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
The final day had three middle distance finals, the women’s 800 meters, the men’s 3000 meters, and the men’s 1,500 meters. This column was written by Justin Lagat on day 3 of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
The morning session of Day 3 of the world indoor championships in Belgrade belonged to the Ethiopians as they finished 1-2 in the men’s 3000m placing their nation at the top of the medal table after a third gold medal. The two protagonists who have always been chasing each other down to finish in the top two positions in a number of the world indoor tour events leading up to the world indoor championships showed that they have all along been in their own class.
The race that had appeared to be a battle between the Ethiopians and the Kenyans mid-way as runners from the two nations occupied the first four places quickly turned into a familiar scene of a single file where Selemon Barega takes the lead and Lamecha Girma follows in hot pursuit.
Selemon Barega takes the 3,000 meters, Lamecha Girma took the silver and Marc Scott took the bronze, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Barega held off Girma to win the race in 7:41.38 against 7:41.63. Marc Scott of Great Britain finished strongly overtaking the two Kenyans and taking the bronze medal in 7:42.02.
During the afternoon session, Samuel Tefera added another fourth gold medal for Ethiopia in the men’s 1500m event. During the race, Kenya’s Abel Kipsang had taken to the lead for the first part of the race before moving a little to the outside lane and letting Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway overtake on the inside to continue the lead.
With less than two laps to go, Tefera placed himself on the heels of Ingebrigtsen and the pace quickened a little bit as the latter seemed to be aiming to shake off the competition before the final bend.
Samuel Tefera defends in the 1,500 meters, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Teferi stuck behind Ingebrigtsen and then moved to overtake at the last bend before he sprinted to win the race in a new championship record of 3:32.77. Ingebrigtsen was second in 3:33.02 as Abel Kipsang came strongly to finish third in 3:33.36.
In the women’s 800m final, USA’s Ajee Wilson waited until the last 200m of the race before showing a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field as she rapidly created a big gap to comfortably win the race in 1:59.09. Freweyni Hailu of Ethiopia came second in 2:00.54 ahead of Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi in 2:00.66.
Ajee’ Wilson takes gold in the 800m, running her own race, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics