Men’s 800m, Mariano Garcia takes gold, Noah Kibet grabs silver, and Bryce Hoppel takes bronze, photo by StarGazerPix, via Peacock TV
In a very satisfying indoor 800m, Mariano Garcia of Spain gave his country their first medal at the indoor distance since 1985, when Colomon Trabado lead a 1-2 medal run by Spain. Noah Kibet, who took the silver, the first medal for Kenya in these championships, is, at 17, the youngest medalist in the history of the World Indoor Championships! This is Justin Lagat’s piece on the new silver medalist!
Running in almost the same version he did during the World U20 championships in Kasarani last year to win a bronze medal for Kenya, where he had stayed almost at the front and made an early break at the last lap, only to be overtaken with about 150m to go. This time around, Kibet was a little bit more patient. He let Marco Arop of Canada do most of the pacing duties as he stuck around 3rd place, waiting to strike.
However, Mariano Garcia of Spain eventually proved himself the stronger runner as he took the gold medal in 1:46.20 ahead of Kibet taking the silver medal in 1:46.35, and Bryce Hoppel settled for the bronze in 1:46.51. Arop would fade to 8th place after doing most of the front running.
While both are 800m specialists, one thing that is currently common with Noah Kibet and his coach is that they are both relatively new in their fields. It is only their second time attending a World Athletics event as a runner and a coach; the first one has been at the WU20 Championships in August last year in Nairobi.
Kibet is coached by Janeth Jepkosgei, the 2002 world U20 and 2007 world 800m champion, who also happens to be the coach for the Kenyan team in Belgrade. Emmanuel Wanyonyi who won the gold medal in the men’s 800m at the WU20 championships where Kibet had won the bronze medal is also coached by Jepkosgei.
Today, on the last day of the championships, Kenyans are hopeful to get more medals from Abel Kipsang in the men’s 1500m, and Daniel Simiu and Jacob Krop in the men’s 3000m.