NAIROBI, Kenya, August 22 – The exciting five days of high performance track and field competition at the Under-20 World Championships in Athletics comes to a close on Sunday with Kenya already at the top of the medal standings looking to make a scorching end.
There will be five finals in which the athletes of Team Kenya will be heavily involved.
First, the 800m final with Noah Kibet and Emmanuel Wanyonyi promising to smash the field and clinch victory with a brace, just like in Tampere, Finland three years ago.
At 3:50 p.m. the duo of Winny Jemutai and Purity Chepkirui will face the 1500m final and with Vincent Keter winning the men’s race on Saturday they will also be looking to stick from the same script and give Kenya a gold medal as well.
Chepkirui won her race in 4: 22.10 ahead of Ethiopian Hiwott Mehari who set the best time this season among the finalists. The Ethiopian, alongside compatriot Diribe Welteji, will be Kenya’s biggest rival in the race.
At 4:05 p.m., Simon Koech and Amos Serem will look to defend Kenyan royalty in the men’s steeplechase and the two are committed to ensuring victory comes home after easily winning their heats.
They admit they were saddened to see the Olympic gold medal snatched from Kenya’s watch and will ensure that respect is upheld.
“The steeplechase is a Kenyan race and we won’t watch it go anywhere else. We know we slipped in the Olympics as a country, but we are the generation that will make sure Kenya is not beaten again, ”Serem said confidently ahead of the final.
At 5:10 pm, Maureen Cherotich and Zenah Cheptoo will be at the start line of the women’s 5,000m in hopes of winning another gold in Kenya after the men’s delivery.
However, they will come under enormous pressure from Ethiopia’s Mizan Alem, the only one to have run under 15 minutes this season, with a record time of 14: 46.20.
Melknat Wudu with a season best time of 15: 20.41 is also another to watch as well as the Ugandan Priscah Chesang who has run 15: 05.39 this season.
Cherotich has a season best time of 15: 44.00 while Zena has clocked a best time of 15: 46.20 this year.
The men’s 4x400m relay team will make a point of honor at the end of the competition with the final at 6:10 pm. Can they make it a golden finish for the Kenya team?