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Middle distance running

Kenya finished at the top of the medal 18th edition of the World Athletics Under-20 Championships.

Kenya finished at the top of the medal standings as the curtain was drawn on the 18th edition of the World Athletics Under-20 Championships at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Sunday. The lovely sunny afternoon brought along seven medals; three gold, a silver and three bronze. That saw Kenya’s medal tally surge to 16; eight gold, one silver and seven bronze (8-1-7) for the country’s best ever performance in 11 years at the world junior

Their achievement superseded the world junior event, surpassing their 2000 Santiago, 2006 Beijing and 2010 Moncton. First off the blocks for the superlative afternoon was the 17-year-old Wanyonyi, who ensured that Kenya preserved its dominance in 800m when he smashed a Championship Record.Then followed Purity Chepkirui, who ended Kenya’s nine-year wait for the women’s 1,500m after proving supreme in a supremacy battle between Kenya and Ethiopia. Amos Serem started his celebrations with 100m to go before breaking to the famous “Kemboi” dance after winning the men's 3,000m steeplechase.

Then the quartet of Peter Kithome, Kennedy Kimeu, Elkanah Kiprotich and Joshua Wanyonyi wrapped up the five-day championships for kenya with a bronze in men’s 4x4000m relay. Wanyonyi, who hails from Saboti, Trans Nzoia County, rallied from two places down with 200m for a blistering time of 1:43.76 to triumph and erase Amos Nijel’s previous Championships Record time of 1:43.79 set in 2012 Barcelona. Nijel’s victory was the last time by an athlete from another country as Kenya took dominance to win the next four editions including Wanyonyi’s exploits. Wanyonyi’s compatriot Noah Kibet settled for bronze in personal best 1:44.88 as Algerian Mohammed Al Gouaned snatched silver in 1:44.45. Wanyonyi now joins the likes of David Rudisha, Alfred Kipketer, Kipyegon Bett and Solomon Lekuta, who have won at the world junior event.Chepkirui and compatriot Winnie Jemutai put Diribe Welteji and Jiwot Mehari to the sword in the women’s 1,500m race.

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