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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Kenyans rule

Kenyan fans throng Kasarani Stadium on final day of IAAF Youth Athletics Championship. /COURTESY
Kenyan fans throng Kasarani Stadium on final day of IAAF Youth Athletics Championship. /COURTESY

Leonard Bett and Cleophas Meyan kept Kenya winning run in the boys’ 2000 metres steeplechase intact by leading a 1-2 finish at the Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani Stadium.

Bett posted 5:32.52 with Meyan settling for silver in 5:33.07 and Ethiopia’s Alemu Kitessa bagging bronze in 5:42.10.

Girma Diriba came home fourth in 5:45.77. Algeria’s Hamdani Benahmed and Toni Banos of Spain were the early pacesetters in the opening lap but were soon joined by the Kenyan and Ethiopian duo at the front of the queue.

The Kenyan tactic was to increase the pace and burnout the Ethiopians and they soon surged to the front with the Ethiopians in hot pursuit at the end of the third lap.

At the start of the fourth lap, Bett and Meyan increased the tempo and opened a gap of 30 meters against the Ethiopians.

At the bell, Bett and Meyan continued with the tempo and soon opened a forty meter gap on the Ethiopians to romp home to victory, bagging the country’s fourth gold of the five-day championship.

A jubilant Bett said they worked as a team during the race.

“We came up with a plan because we knew the Ethiopians were very strong especially Kitessa. So at various points of the race, we knew had to up the pace especially at the water jump,” he said.

Meyan said they were not going to disappoint the capacity crowd. “I would like to thank the fans, who came in large numbers to support. That support played a key role for us to win gold and silver,” added Meyan.

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