The World Under18 Championships heralded scripts synonymous with what the country is revered for in the global athletics; winning medals.
The only difference was that the scene was enacted at home with Kenya’s athletics fans actively playing the spectators as home-boys and girls burnt their lungs out pursuing international glory in their presence.
Despite of a downward descend on the overall medal table compared to previous editions, putting 15 medals in the harvest basket reaffirm the bright future the country is heading to upon the graduation of the youths to the senior ranks.
The championships churned out the next generation of middle and long distant runners as the country continue making inroads in events previously assumed to be the preserve of other nations.
The first on the production line to open the medal table p was the incoming 1,500m Prince George Meitemei Manangoi who enlarged the Manangois brand initiated by his elder sibling Elijah Motonei Manangoi in the same event.
Just like in 1,500m where Kenya has dominated the race since the times of legendry Kipchoge Keino, Leonard Kiplagat Kibet guaranteed Kenyans the Steeplechase race will still be the domain of Kenyans after winning the second gold medal in race pioneered by Amos Biwott and his successors. Caren Chebet carried the winning streak in the girls’ class.
The fourth gold medal was convincingly won by Jackline Wambui in the footsteps of Gladys Wamuyu, Faith Machariah, Janeth Busienei, Lydia Wafula, Pamela Jelimo and Eunice Sum who have dominated the two-lap race in the past.
New grounds were broken in three events where talented Mary Moraa, who was branded ‘Kisii Express’, Moitalel Naadokila and Dominic Ndigiti convinced Kenyans that the country is capable of broadening medal haul when they won the silverwares in the rare 400metres for girls, 400m hurdles and in boy’s 10,000metres Walk respectively.
Nevertheless, the a few amateurish technical gaffes denied the boys and girls more medals that would have buoyed the team to maintain the country’s global ranking as witnessed in the previous 9 editions.
1. George Meitemei Manangoi (1,500m)
2. Leonard Kipkemoi Bett (2,000m S/Chase)
3. Caren Chebet (2,000m S/Chase)
4. Jackline Wambui (800m)
1. Edward Zakayo (3,000m)
2. Cleophas Kandie Meyan (2,000mS/Chase)
3. Moitalel Mpoke Naadokila (400m Hurdles)
4. Mary Moraa (400m)
5. Lydia Cheruto (800m)
6. Immaculate Chepkirui (3,000m)
7. Mercy Chepkirui (2,000m S/Chase)
1. Stanley Mburu (3,000m)
2. Dominic Ndigiti (10,000m Walk)
3. Japhet Toroitich (800m)
4. Ednah Jebitok (1,500m)
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