Kenya stages powerful performance in 800m
Kenya’s Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Noah Kibet yesterday produced convincing performances to storm the semi-finals of the men’s 800m on Day Two of the World Athletics Under-20 Championships at Kasarani.
Wanyonyi and Kibet are getting motivation from Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich won gold and silver for Kenya in the men’s 800m final in Tokyo.
Kibet was first on the track, leading from start to finish in clocking a time of 1:46.70.
He led at the bell in 51.60 secs before winning the first heat in 1:46.70, seeing off Jakub Davidik from Czech and Algerian Heithem Chetinee to second and third places in 1:47.84 1:49.19 respectively.
“Rotich has been advising and encouraging me to stay focused but also enjoy the races,” said Kibet.
He added: “I wanted to adopt the front running style since it’s the safest and see how it goes in the semi-finals.”
Referring to Day One performances where Kenya failed to win a medal, Kibet admitted to having felt some pressure.
“I was under so much pressure from my fans especially after we didn’t do well on the opening day.
I wanted the fans to know that we shall keep fighting for them,” he added.
Then it was the turn of Wanyonyi who simply humbled heat three in a time of 1:46.51.
He was straightforward with his new strategy, one he intends to keep for the semis and finals should he get there.
“ Being a championship, there was no way I was going to take chances. Actually this was Noah’s idea because I usually run from behind. He told me to run from the front,” said Wanyonyi.
“Together with Noah we are a strong duo. I think it will come down to the two of us g,” added Wanyonyi who edged out Frenchman Yanis Meziane to second place in 1:47.28 as Ethiopian Daniel Wode came third in 1:49.20 to also sail through to the semis that will be staged on Saturday at 3.30pm.