Ethiopia came out on top in a thrilling four-way battle in the boys’ 800m final, closing out a superb evening session of competition at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 on Saturday.
The boys’ 800m contest evolved into a thrilling four-way battle in the final track event of the night. After charging through the bell in 51.53, led by Japheth Toroitich of Kenya, the small lead group stayed together throughout the second lap.
While it seemed Toroitich might be able to hold on after his brave effort, Ethiopia’s Melese Nberet delivered a late kick to take gold in a world U18 lead of 1:47.12.
“The race was fine. I knew I had to kick in the last metres so I preserved my energy in the first lap,” Nberet said afterwards.
His compatriot Tolesa Bodena also finished well, crossing the line in 1:47.16 to grab second place and secure a one-two for Ethiopia, with Toroitich holding on for third in 1:47.82, as both athletes clocked personal bests.
Juan Castro of Costa Rica settled for fourth position in 1:49.76, he dipped under 1:50.00 for the first time in his career.
Elsewhere…another Ethiopia vs Kenya duel
Ethiopia again upset the host nation to the disappointment of the local fans in the Girls’ 1500m final..
Winding up the pace in a stunning final lap, Lemlem Hailu crossed the finish line in 4:20.80 after covering the last 300m in 45.00 to take the gold medal.
“I was sure of winning coming into this race so I just kept my focus,” Hailu said. “I’m very happy too have won Ethiopia a second gold medal.”
Her teammate Sindu Girma delivered a superb finish to complete the race in 4:22.14.
Offering some consolation to the thousands of spectators who turned up to watch, Kenya’s Jebitok ended third in 4:23.16.
— Athletics Africa ???? (@athleticsafrica) July 15, 2017
(Originally appeared on the IAAF Website – Wesley Botton for the IAAF)