After a gold laden first day, Kenyan athletes were brought down to earth on Day Two of the World under 20 championship in Tampere, Finland.
In the girls 3000m final, Zenah Jemutai finished fifth after clocking a personal best of 9:00.76. Japan’s Nozomi Tanaka stunned the favourites by setting a killer pace and win gold in 8:54.01 with Ethiopia’s Meselu Berhe settling for silver in 8:56.39 with compatriot Tsige Gebreselama taking the bronze in 8:59.20. Yuna Wada of Japan finished fourth in 9:00.50. Kenya last won gold at the event in 2012 in Barcerlona courtesy of Mercy Chebwogen
Meanwhile, world under 18 800m champion Jackline Wambui breezed through to the final of her specialty after finishing third in Heat One in a season’s best time of 2:03.44.
Ethiopia’s Firewyeni Hailu won the races in 2:01.96 with Delia Sclabas of Switzerland second in 2:02.12. Samantha Watson of the United States came fourth came fourth in 2:03.95 as Joe Keane of Ireland notched a personal best of 2:06.91 for fifth.
Lydia Lagat failed to qualify for the final after finishing fourth in Heat Two. She registered 2:04.59. Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia topped the Heat, clocking 2:01.89 as Great Britain’s Kathy McDonald came second in 2:03.20 with Ayano Shiomi third in 2:03.72.
World U18 2,000 steeplechase champion Leonard Bett will hope to keep Kenya’s rich tradition in the 3,000m steeplecahse when he parades for the qualifying rounds today.
Team Kenya have dominated the water and barrier event since inception of the junior event with the likes of World and Olympic champion Consenslus Kipruto, Jonathan Muia, Baranbas Kipyego and Amos Kirui in recent years and Bett to extend that feat.
Bett will be under pressure to deliver but first, he must qualify for the final with the first five in each heat qualifying and the five fastest losers booking their spots in the final.
Top athletes to watch out in the event include Albert Chemutai of Uganda, Tekele Nigate and Getnet Wale of Ethiopia, Mohammed Rachidi of Morocco and Ousama Basi of Algeria.