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Sat, Oct

WU18C: Manangoi, Chebet Strike Gold for Kenya

Launching a lightning kick with little more than 200 metres to go, Kenyan middle-distance runner George Manangoi had the lively home crowd on its feet on Friday (14) as he stormed to victory in the boys' 1500m final in the afternoon session at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017.

After setting off at a relatively slow pace, the Ethiopian duo of Belete Mekonen and Abebe Dessassa took control of the pack in the early stages, but they seemed in no hurry and Mekonen led them through 800 metres in 2:07.58.

They eventually switched gears at the bell, launching a lengthy drive for the line in an effort to shake off a bunched field, but they were made to pay for their tactical approach.

Having sat back and played a waiting game, Manangoi, younger brother of world silver medallist Elijah Manangoi, was rewarded for his patience, drawing clear down the finishing straight to earn gold in 3:47.53.

Algeria’s Oussama Cherrad also produced a strong kick to take second place but he was later disqualified for obstructing an opponent.

Dessassa was elevated to second position, taking the silver medal in a personal best of 3:48.65.

Mekonen, who had entered the race with the fastest career best in the line-up (3:39.86), held on to take the bronze medal in 3:50.64.

Kenya’s Dominic Kipkemboi was a non-starter for the final, having appeared to have picked up an injury after winning his heat two days prior.

Chebet's great conviction

Taking advantage of her compatriot's error, Kenya’s Caren Chebet charged to victory at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 on Friday (14), winning the gold medal in a dramatic girls' 2000m steeplechase final.

Having pulled away from Chebet in the closing stages, Mercy Chepkirui looked to have the race wrapped up on the final lap, but she stumbled at the last water jump and was left sprawled on the track.

Yanking herself back up, Chepkirui soon regained her rhythm, but she could not respond to a late surge from Chebet and settled for second place.

Chebet crossed the line in 6:24.80, chopping nearly three seconds off Chepkirui's world U18 lead, and Chepkirui took silver, also setting a personal best of 6:26.10 to the delight of the home crowd.

Ethiopia's Etalemahu Sintayehu grabbed the bronze medal in 6:35.79.

"I'm very happy because it's my first time to compete on such a big stage," Chebet said.

"I thank my coaches who have instilled discipline in me, enabling me to win."