After a phony start in the men’s marathon during Day One of the World Athletics Championships, Kenyans had something to celebrate on Monday and Tuesday after invigorated Vivian Jepkemboi Cheruiyot and championship masters Ezekiel Kemboi Yano and King David Lekuta Rudisha gave the country the first gold medals.
In a span of 20minutes on Monday, athletics enthusiasts wiped tears of joy and jumped in jubilation after Kemboi, who bagged his 4th chronological win in the history of the championship, marshaled team mates Conseslus Kipruto, Brimin Kipruto and Jairus Birech in a monumental 1-2-3-4 historical sweep.
“We saw it coming. Although there was a big threat from the tall American, we knew Ezekiel as a good fighter. I have no word to say about him (Ezekiel). He has really mastered the race. He is unstoppable. That was great for Kenyans,” said Dan Muchoki, Athletics Kenya Chief Coach.
It was a double win for the country during the third day of the championship after the thirst for a gold medal was quenched since the silver ware was elusive in marathon and men’s 10,000metres where majority of Kenyans had placed their bet.
Geoffrey Kamworor and Paul Tanui opened the medal table with Silver and Bronze after finishing second and third in men’s 10,000metres on Saturday after Britain’s Mo Farah, the defending champion retained the gold medal. Kamworor timed 27:01.76 while Tanui finished in 27:02.83. The third Kenyan, Bedan Karoki, was fourth in 27:04.77.
In Eldoret town where the multi-champion has a near fanatic following after his exploits from 2004 when he won the country the only gold medal during the Athens Olympics, athletes, coaches and fans watched the race keenly before rupturing into cheers.
“Kemboi ni ndume. Ametuletea sifa nyingi Kenya kila mwaka (Kemboi is winner. He has brought a lot of fame to the country every year),” commented David Sambu, the Manager with Eldoret Crossroad Nissan Matatus, which have bears ‘The Home of Champions’ logo.
Cheruiyot, who resumed her training early this year after maternity engagement, reaffirmed she is still the best in the World in 10,000metrs for women after running from behind to win the race in 31:41.31, bringing back the memory of Daegu in 2011 when she ruled in 5,000 and 10,000metres.
And on day four, almost 24 hours after Vivian and Kemboi won the opening gold medal tally; expectations were high with more than eight Kenyans running in the finals of men’s 400metres hurdles, women’s 1,500metres and in men’s 800metres.
Rudisha lived to his bailing and his slow time of 1:45.84 was enough to bring the third gold medal for the country minutes after women 1,500metres favourite Faith Chepng’etich placed second to bag silver.
The two medals of the day bring to a total of 8 to keep the chart at 3Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze. The Gold medalists are Vivian Cheruiyot (10,000metres), Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000metres steeplechase) and Davi Rudisha (800metres).
Geoffrey Kamworor (10,000metres), Conseslus Kipruto (3,000metres steeplechase) and Faith Chepng’etich (1,500metres) are the Silver Medalist while Paul Tanui (10,000metre) and Brimin Kipruto (3,000metres steeplechase) have won Bronze.
More medals are expected in the women’s 3,000metres steeplechase and men’s javelin after 3 Kenyans made it to the finals and lone representative Julius Yego also sailed to the final.
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