Relatively unheralded Shuru Bulo sprinted to victory in a world youth leading time of 9:01.12 to deliver the first gold medal for Ethiopia on Day One of the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 in Colombia on Wednesday.
[link id="789" tax="post_tag" text="Bulo"], not only upsets her much fancied team-mate [link id="688" tax="post_tag" text="Letesenbet Gidey"], she becomes just the second Ethiopian to triumph in this event, after Gotytom Gebreselase four years ago in Lille.
The Kenyans have traditionally dominated this race – winning gold six out of eight times in the event’s history – and when the gun fired inside the Pascual Guerrero Stadium, their duo of [link id="501" tax="post_tag" text="Emily Chebet Kipchumba"] and [link id="788" tax="post_tag" text="Sheila Chelangat"] made their intentions clear from the start.
Kipchumba, with Chelangat running on her shoulder, raced straight to the front and took the field through 1000m in a steady 3:01.38.
At that point, the Ethiopians were content to play the waiting game, Gidey sheltering on the inside behind the Kenyans with Bulo running alongside her.
After all her front-running, Kenya’s national junior champion Kipchumba was rewarded with a silver medal for her efforts, finishing in 9:02.92.
The battle for the Cali 2015 bronze was won by Chelangat, who edged world junior cross-country champion Gidey in the run to the line, 9:04.54 to 9:04.64.
(Additional reporting by Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF)