Silver for Ndiku and Bronze for Sum

Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku won his first major championship medal when   he took silver in the men’s 5000m at the 2015 world athletics championships.

It was a brave effort by Ndiku but he could prevent Britain’s Mo Farah from winning his third consecutive championship double, the athletic equivalent of a triple double.    Ndiku took off from the pack with two laps to go, setting a searing pace. Farah covered the move but looked as though he didn’t have enough in reserve to beat the Kenyan.

At the bell the effect of the change in pace showed on most of the runners faced, whose grimaces taut and twisted with the effort. Down the back straight for the last time it looked as though Farah was beaten but he dug deep and hauled himself past Ndiku with 140 metres to go. Farah had too much left in reserve and he passed Ndiku in the final straight.

Race Video

Race Results

 

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 516 Mohamed Farah GBR GBR 13:50.38
2 698 Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku KEN KEN 13:51.75
3 465 Hagos Gebrhiwet ETH ETH 13:51.86
4 467 Yomif Kejelcha ETH ETH 13:52.43
5 1055 Galen Rupp USA USA 13:53.90
6 1064 Ben True USA USA 13:54.07
7 1025 Ryan Hill USA USA 13:55.10
8 694 Isiah Kiplangat Koech KEN KEN 13:55.98
9 960 Ali Kaya TUR TUR 13:56.51
10 703 Edwin Cheruiyot Soi KEN KEN 13:59.02
11 289 Albert Kibichii Rop BRN BRN 14:00.12
12 300 Mohammed Ahmed CAN CAN 14:00.38
13 469 Imane Merga ETH ETH 14:01.60
14 564 Richard Ringer GER GER 14:03.72
15 517 Tom Farrell GBR GBR 14:08.87

 

Sum garners bronze in 800m

Coming into this race. Eunice Sum was considered a string favourite, having dominated this event during the Diamond league circuit. However the women’s 800m is always unpredictable. There is often an unexpected runner from Eastern Europe who skips most of the regular season only to show up and win the championships in surprising fashion. And so it happened again with Marina Arzamasova of Belarus who surprised everyone to win.

Sum took off with her typical front running style. But by the 600m, mark it looked like Arzamasova had more in reserve. She passed Sum on the back stretch as did Melissa Bishop of Canada. Sum made a galant effort to come back in the last 50m but it was not enough.

Race Video

Race Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 154 Marina Arzamasova BLR BLR 1:58.03
2 204 Melissa Bishop CAN CAN 1:58.12
3 575 Eunice Jepkoech Sum KEN KEN 1:58.18
4 600 Rababe Arafi MAR MAR 1:58.90
5 406 Shelayna Oskan-Clarke GBR GBR 1:58.99
6 832 Nataliia Lupu UKR UKR 1:58.99
7 669 Joanna Józwik POL POL 1:59.09
8 377 Renelle Lamote FRA FRA 1:59.70

 


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Hyvin Kiyeng upsets formbook to win in epic finish

kiyeng-2015-world

Coming into the 2015 world championships, Tunisian Habiba Ghribi was the favourite. She had the world best time and had won the silver medal at the 2011 world championships and the 2012 Olympics. Hyvin Kiyeng on the other hand did not have a major championship medal to her name. Her only honours so far had come at the All Africa games and the African championships. Still Kiyeng had one Diamond league win to her name in 2015 and had the second best time of the season.

It was an epic race in the final lap with numerous runners exchanging the lead. Virginia Nyambura stayed with the leading pack until 250 metres to go when she started to fade. In the final straight, three runners, Kiyeng, Ghribi and Gesa Krause of Germany were all literally neck and neck in a straight line. But Kiyeng had an extra gear which she utilized after the final hurdle to pass Ghribi and win by a hair.

Kiyeng had dinished 6th in the 2013 world championships in Moscow. Coming into the 2015 season, no one expected much from Kenyans in this event. Milcah Chemos who had been Kenya’s stalwart at this event was fading due to injuries. In 2014, no Kenyans were among the top runners. The 2014 season had been dominated by the Ethiopian duo of Sofia Assefa and Hiwot Ayalew as well as the American Emma Coburn. However in 2015, Virginia Nyambura and Hyvib Kiyeng emerged as true contenders.

Race Video

 

Race Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 561 Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi KEN KEN 9:19.11
2 815 Habiba Ghribi TUN TUN 9:19.24
3 434 Gesa Felicitas Krause GER GER 9:19.25 PB
4 335 Sofia Assefa ETH ETH 9:20.01 SB
5 872 Emma Coburn USA USA 9:21.78
6 336 Hiwot Ayalew ETH ETH 9:24.27
7 572 Virginia Nyambura Nganga KEN KEN 9:26.21
8 466 Lalita Shivaji Babar IND IND 9:29.64
9 883 Stephanie Garcia USA USA 9:31.06
10 601 Salima Elouali Alami MAR MAR 9:32.15
11 191 Ruth Jebet BRN BRN 9:33.41
12 912 Colleen Quigley USA USA 9:34.29
13 819 Özlem Kaya TUR TUR 9:34.66
14 606 Fadwa Sidi Madane MAR MAR 9:41.45
15 557 Rosefline Chepngetich KEN KEN 9:46.08

 


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With massive heave Yego is now 3rd best all time

yego-win-world-15

Julius Yego came into this event as the world leader in the Javelin. But there was an air of doubt about whether he could even win a medal. He has been inconsistent. In his last contest before the world championships, he managed a throw of only 81.79m.

However Yego came through when it mattered. With a heave of 92.72m, Yego became the first Kenyan ever to win a field event at the world championships. He broke his own Africa record. It was also the best throw in the world since 2001. Yego is now third in the all time list of Javelin throwers behind behind world record-holder Jan Zelezny (98.48m) and Finland’s Aki Parviainen (93.09m). Yego’s toss was also a new Commonwealth record. That record was previously held by Steve Backley of England

Yego was so dominant that even his last throw was well beyond 90m but was ruled a foul because he stepped on the line.

Video

Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK DETAIL Attempt 1 Attempt 2 Attempt 3 Attempt 4 Attempt 5 Attempt 6
1 706 Julius Yego KEN KEN 92.72 WL X 82.42 92.72 X
2 415 Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed EGY EGY 88.99 SB 86.07 88.99 X X X X
3 482 Tero Pitkämäki FIN FIN 87.64 83.45 85.03 85.08 87.64 84.49 87.34
4 565 Thomas Röhler GER GER 87.41 86.68 86.03 86.77 87.18 84.00 87.41
5 483 Antti Ruuskanen FIN FIN 87.12 76.24 81.29 87.12 80.63 84.30 X
6 556 Andreas Hofmann GER GER 86.01 79.38 77.33 84.85 82.43 X 86.01
7 571 Johannes Vetter GER GER 83.79 83.79 81.98 80.28 X 79.43 X
8 400 Vítezslav Veselý CZE CZE 83.13 78.38 X 83.13 81.45 82.98 X
9 646 Ryohei Arai JPN JPN 83.07 80.81 83.07 X
10 170 Braian Toledo ARG ARG 80.27 78.27 78.30 80.27
11 918 Kim Amb SWE SWE 78.51 77.38 75.77 78.51
12 455 Risto Mätas EST EST 76.79 75.79 70.10 76.79

 


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Faith Kipyegon garners silver medal in 1500m

kipyegon-world-15

Faith Chepngetic Kipyegon, a former world junior cross country champion won the silver medal in the women’s 1500m, finishing behind the incredible Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia.

Kipyegon who won the Commonwealth games gold medal in 2014 showed resilience in the last 200m. With Genzebe assured of gold, it became a race to see who would win silver. Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands charged past Kipyegon at the final bend. But Kipyegon would not give up and surged past Hassan again with 70m left to win silver.

Race Video

Race Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 342 Genzebe Dibaba ETH ETH 4:08.09
2 567 Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon KEN KEN 4:08.96
3 616 Sifan Hassan NED NED 4:09.34
4 351 Dawit Seyaum ETH ETH 4:10.26
5 404 Laura Muir GBR GBR 4:11.48
6 786 Abeba Aregawi SWE SWE 4:12.16
7 915 Shannon Rowbury USA USA 4:12.39
8 664 Angelika Cichocka POL POL 4:13.22
9 600 Rababe Arafi MAR MAR 4:13.66
10 753 Tatyana Tomashova RUS RUS 4:14.18
11 917 Jennifer Simpson USA USA 4:16.28
12 599 Malika Akkaoui MAR MAR 4:16.98

 


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Masterful tactics by Rudisha to win gold

David Rudisha put his vast experience on display when he out-hought and outfoxed the field to win the mens 800m at the 2015 world athletics championships. Just as he had done in the semi-finals, Rudisha took the lead from the start but slowed the pace to a pedestrian like 54.15 first lap. Rudisha does this knowing that in his current state, a slow pace favours him. When Rudisha was in his prime, he would set a torrid pace towing the field with him. He has now re-invented himself with much success.

Rudisha held off all attempts to pass him. With 250m left to go, Rudisha’s long strides started to be evident as he started to stretch his lead. Meanwhile Bosnian challenger Amel Tuka who was in last position at this point started to make his move. But Rudisha whose finishing kick has been lacking since 2012 showed his improved speed blowing the rest of the field away in the last 100m.

It is Rudisha’s first major win since he won Olympic gold in 2012. Ferguson Rotich who beat Rudisha at the Kenyan trials was 4th, barely missing out on a medal.

Race Video

Race Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 702 David Lekuta Rudisha KEN KEN 1:45.84
2 797 Adam Kszczot POL POL 1:46.08
3 234 Amel Tuka BIH BIH 1:46.30
4 701 Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich KEN KEN 1:46.35
5 490 Pierre-Ambroise Bosse FRA FRA 1:46.63
6 825 Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla QAT QAT 1:47.01
7 730 Nader Belhanbel MAR MAR 1:47.09
8 685 Alfred Kipketer KEN KEN 1:47.66

 


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Nicholas Bett wins 400m hurdles from lane 9 !

bett-world-15

Another first for Kenya !

Nicholas Bett became the first Kenyan ever to win the 400m hurdles in a major global event. In fact Bett became the first Kenyan ever to win gold at a major global event. The last time a Kenyan sprinter won gold at a global event was Seraphino Antao who won gold in the 100m at the Commonwealth games half a decade a ago. However the Commonwealth games are not considered a major global event.

Bett did this by clocking 47.79 which is the fastest time in the world this year and a new Kenyan record. And he did all this while having the disadvantage of running from lane 9 which is the worst lane to run from in any one lap event due to the incredible stagger.

Despite running from lane 9, Bett held on and did not allow any racer to make up the stagger. Not even the pressure of having two time world champion Kerron Clement of the USA could shake Bett. Throughout the race, the commentators only spoke of Michael Tinsley who was the favourite while not realizing that Bett was leading throughout.

The time makes Bett the 4th fastest African ever behind Matete of Zambia, Dia Ba of Senegal and Van Zyl of South Africa.  Both the second and third placed finisher set new national records. Boniface Mucheru, the other Kenyan in the race was 5th. There mere fact that Kenya had two runners in the final is in itself a phenomenal achievement.

Race Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK Reaction Time
1 679 Nicholas Bett KEN KEN 47.79 WL 0.162
2 870 Denis Kudryavtsev RUS RUS 48.05 NR 0.146
3 202 Jeffery Gibson BAH BAH 48.17 NR 0.184
4 1005 Kerron Clement USA USA 48.18 SB 0.174
5 705 Boniface Mucheru Tumuti KEN KEN 48.33 0.164
6 956 Yasmani Copello TUR TUR 48.96 0.204
7 794 Patryk Dobek POL POL 49.14 0.176
8 1063 Michael Tinsley USA USA 50.02 0.134

Race Video

Kenya has a rich heritage in this event

This win may surprise many including yours truly. But Kenya does indeed have a decent history in this event. Just like the 800m, it is an event that combines both endurance and speed. Since Kenya has been excelling in the 800m, it makes sense that Kenya would excel in the 400m hurdles once they understood the technical aspects of this race.

Eric Keter was a star in this race winning both the African championships and All Africa games during the early 1990s. Daniel Kimaiyo won the 400m hurdles at the 1978 All Africa games beating the legendary Ugandan John Akii Bua who had been an Olympic gold medalist and had dominated the event all over the world. Kimaiyo went on to win a gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth games. Kimaiyo would also win gold at the 1979 African championships.

 


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Vivian Cheruiyot makes a grand comeback

Vivian Cheruiyot is back with a bang. After winning both the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2011 world championships, she experienced a mini-slump before taking time off on maternity leave. In 2015 she showed signs of a comeback when she won the 10,000m at the Bruxelles diamond league and at the Kenyan trials.

Much was expected from her and she did not disappoint, beating a strong challenge from Gelete Burka of Ethiopia to win in 31.41.31. The leading pack stayed together for 9600m. Cheruiyot took the lead with 250m to go and held off strong challenges from Burka who tried several times to pass her. It was her fourth world championship gold medal having also won gold at the 5000m in 2009.

Race Video

Race Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 560 Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot KEN KEN 31:41.31
2 338 Gelete Burka ETH ETH 31:41.77
3 891 Emily Infeld USA USA 31:43.49
4 890 Molly Huddle USA USA 31:43.58
5 566 Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego KEN KEN 31:44.42 SB
6 880 Shalane Flanagan USA USA 31:46.23
7 348 Alemitu Heroye ETH ETH 31:49.73
8 573 Betsy Saina KEN KEN 31:51.35 SB
9 349 Belaynesh Oljira ETH ETH 31:53.01
10 618 Susan Kuijken NED NED 31:54.32
11 626 Jip Vastenburg NED NED 32:03.03
12 689 Sara Moreira POR POR 32:06.14

 


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Wily veteran Kemboi wins 5th straight major as Kenya sweeps

kemboi-world-15

No country has dominated any event in any sport the way Kenya has dominated the 3000m steeplechase. Since Kenya burst onto the scene at the 1968 Olympics, Kenya has won this event every time with a few exceptions such as the 1983 world championships when a rust Kenyan failed to win a single medal and 1987 when strong favourite  Joshua Kipkemboi tripped over a hurdle and in 2003 and 2005 when Stephen Cherono defected from Kenya to run for Qatar.

At the Olympics, Kenya has won every Olympic gold since 1968 with the exception of 1976 and 1980 when Kenya boycotted the games. That is 10 out of 12 gold medals on offer.

At the world championships, Kenya has won 27 of the 36 medals on offer. Including winning 11 out of the last 13 world championships, with the only break coming when Shaheen defected to Qatar.

It is an amazing record. That record came to the fore again on Monday when Kenya captured the to four positions. Evan Jager, the man whom Americans had pinned a lot of hopes on finished 5th. Much was expected from Jager because he had the second fastest time of the year.

But the Kenyans controlled the pace, setting a slow pace, knowing fully well that they had a stronger finishing kick than anyone else.

It is worth noting that the pace did not suite Jairus Birech either. He typically wins by setting a blazing pace and has dominated this event for the past two years using such tactics. One might say he put team performance ahead of his own performance. However it must be said that Birech missed a medal due to his poor negotiation of the last hurdle which enabled Brimin Kipruto to catch him. It is something he must improve on

5th straight major win for Ezekiel Kemboi

The wily veteran Ezekiel Kemboi showed that you should never underrate the heart of a champion. Kemboi has been missing in action at most major races in 2014 and 2015 and seemed to be past his best. But he once again timed his kick perfectly taking off like a maniac with 250m to go to gain an unassailable lead before finishing in lane 3 as he usually does. By the time he was finishing the race, he was so far ahead of the field that he could have skipped or danced across the finish line. After the race he pointed to his brain as if saying he is too clever for the rest of the field.

Kemboi is a true legend. It is the 5th successive major win having won the world championship gold in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and the Olympic gold in 2012.

Race Video

Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 683 Ezekiel Kemboi KEN KEN 8:11.28
2 690 Conseslus Kipruto KEN KEN 8:12.38
3 689 Brimin Kiprop Kipruto KEN KEN 8:12.54
4 680 Jairus Kipchoge Birech KEN KEN 8:12.62
5 1027 Daniel Huling USA USA 8:14.39
6 1030 Evan Jager USA USA 8:15.47
7 742 Brahim Taleb MAR MAR 8:17.73
8 312 Matthew Hughes CAN CAN 8:18.63 SB
9 815 Krystian Zalewski POL POL 8:21.22 SB
10 1000 Donald Cabral USA USA 8:24.94
11 737 Hamid Ezzine MAR MAR 8:25.72
12 459 Hailemariyam Amare ETH ETH 8:26.19
13 161 Bilal Tabti ALG ALG 8:29.04
14 153 Hicham Bouchicha ALG ALG 8:33.79
15 471 Tolosa Nurgi ETH ETH 8:44.81

 


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Congratulations to Joyce Zakary: New Kenya Record

beijing-2015

Joyce Zakary set a new Kenya record in the women’s 400m during the heats at the 2015 world athletics championships with a time of 50.71. Zakary whose name has been spelled variously as Joy Sakari and Joyce Zackary and various combinations thereof, was the co-holder of the previous record at 51.56. The record was originally set by the legendary Ruth Waithera in 1984. Zakary equaled the record in 2009. Thus the record had lasted 31 years!

Zakary also becomes the first Kenyan to dip below the 51.00 second mark. Running in lane 3, Zakary looked out of contention at the 250m mark. She started to gain ground and by the 350m mark she had established herself in second position. She continued to close the gap on the leader but slowed down towards the end after having secured a qualifying spot. In essence, she would have lowered the record even further had she tried.

Race Video

Maureen Jelagat Maiyo, who previously represented Kenya in the 400m hurdles, also dipped below the previous record and is now the second fastest Kenyan ever in the one lap event. She clocked 51.40 to qualify for the next stage based on her time. She finished 4th in heat 2

 


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Inspired decision by Mucheru to focus on 400mH

Boniface Tumuti Mucheru reached the finals of the 400m hurdles at the 2015 World athletics championships. In the process Mucheru clocked 48.29 and beat Two time world champion and one time Olymmpic champion Kerron Clement of the USA.

Mucheru won a bronze medal in the 400m flat at the 2014 African championships. He would have been expected to continue in that event but he chose to switch to the 400m hurdles. It now appears to be an excellent decision as he had very little chance of excelling at world level in the 400m flat.  He clocked 48.29, missing the Kenya record by only 0.05 of a second.

In the other semi-final, Nicholas Bett finished second to qualify for the final. Bett was a bronze medalist at the 2014 Africa athletics championships

It is not the first time that two Kenyans have reached the finals of the 400m hurdles at the world championships. For example as far back as 1993, Eric Keter and Barnabas Kinyor both made the final. It was then that Keter set the Kenya record of 48.24 that lasts to this day.

Race Video

Semi final Results 1

1 705 Boniface Mucheru Tumuti KEN KEN 48.29 Q PB 0.165
2 1005 Kerron Clement USA USA 48.50 Q 0.170
3 863 Timofey Chalyy RUS RUS 48.69 PB 0.178
4 599 Thomas Barr IRL IRL 48.71 0.196
5 454 Rasmus Mägi EST EST 48.76 0.132
6 158 Abdelmalik Lahoulou ALG ALG 48.87 NR 0.188
7 643 Annsert Whyte JAM JAM 48.90 SB 0.181
8 222 Michaël Bultheel BEL BEL 49.66 0.152

 

Semi final Results 3

1 1063 Michael Tinsley USA USA 48.47 Q 0.156
2 679 Nicholas Bett KEN KEN 48.54 Q 0.170
3 911 Kariem Hussein SUI SUI 48.59 0.153
4 518 Niall Flannery GBR GBR 49.17 0.181
5 822 Javier Culson PUR PUR 49.36 0.186
6 628 Leford Green JAM JAM 49.59 0.173
7 754 Kurt Couto MOZ MOZ 50.58 0.177
8 664 Yuki Matsushita JPN JPN 51.10 0.181

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