Gibo Zachary @Peoplesport11
Kenya’s rich history in Steeplechase resurfaced in the IAAF World Youth Championship as classy Leonard Kipkemei Bett led his compatriot Cleophas Kandie Meyan to ease through to this year’s U18 Championship finals on Sunday.
Running in Heat 2, Bett unfazed by the chilly morning at Kasarani, tactically led from the gun sound to the finish line to win the semi-final in 5:46.66 with Ethiopian Girma Diriba settling a distant second in 5:47.86.
Earlier, Kandie running in Heat 1, started off well, taking the race in his mercy only for Ethiopian Alemu Kitessa beating him in the last lap, breaking away to win the hit in 5:49.79 with the Kenyan coming second in 5:51.53, hence inviting for a final cracker between Kenyans and arch rivals Ethiopians in the U18 Championship.
The traditional Kenya-Ethiopia gruelling battle Sunday is expected to lit the stadium but Bett and Kandie will be out to defend the country’s legacy, following the footsteps of previous winners in ‘betting’ for gold and silver medals that Kenya has won since 1999 all the way to 2015, making it six out six wins in boys category.
As Bett and Kandie ‘bet’ for Kenya’s seven in arrow steeplechase gold medal, the country’s Triple Jump sensation Gloria Mulei became the first Kenyan female athlete to reach a Triple Jump final after recording a PB of 12.46m to advance to the finals set for Saturday at 16:50pm, where she’s bound to make history by a clinching a medal.
The two early morning session events on day three put Kenyan fans on the edge of their seats in cheering up their youngsters but the mood sent abruptly went down when Joseph Nyakundi Nyaanga and Mary Moraa both from Mogonga Mixed Secondary School failed to make it past the qualifying round in their respective races.