Jackline Chepkoech on Friday stormed to the women’s 3000m steeplechase final victory after producing a thrilling front running style to win Kenya’s third gold medal at the ongoing World Athletics Under-20 Championships at Kasarani stadium.
A large group started the race in a pedestrian way, before Chekoech took the challenge to the front run as her team-mate Faith Cherotich and Ethiopian Zerfe Wondemagegn hanged on.
Chepkeoech’s decisive move saw her across the halfway make in 4:41.38 to eventually win the gold medal in 9:27.40 with Wondemagegn surging to silver position in 9:35.22 as Cherotich settled for bronze to take Kenya’s tally the host’s medal tally to six.
“I was aware that a good number of the competitors were strong but the race was too slow so I decided to open up the gap after two laps. During the Olympics trials I finished 4th and did not make the Tokyo team, this is a good reward after missing out in the Olympics,” said Chepkoech.
On her part, Cherotich said: “Our game plan was a 1-2 finish but the Ethiopian proved too strong for me and a nagging leg injury did make things better for me. I’m happy for the bronze medal.”
Ethiopian Emebet Kebede was fourth in 10:17.52 while Greta Varga of Hungary finished distance fifth in 10.48.34.
Kenyans are seeking to top the global medal standing for the fifth time in the history of the championships. In the last edition, the country won 11 medals: six gold, four silver and one bronze medal.