Kenya grab back women’s 1,500m title from Ethiopia as World Athletics Under-20s comes to a close

Monday, August 23rd, 2021 00:00 | By
Purity Chepkirui
Purity Chepkirui wins the women’s 1,500m race at Kasarani yeserday. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE

Purity Chepkirui yesterday helped Kenya reclaim the women’s 1,500m title as the World Athletics Under-20 Championships ended at the Kasarani Stadium.

Chepkirui had to beat a strong challenge from Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji at the home stretch to win in 4:16.07 seconds.

Welteji settled for silver in 4:16.39 as Kenya’s Winnie Jemutai held off Ethiopia’s Hiwot Mehari to claim bronze in 4:18.99. 

The 18-year-old Chepkirui who hails from Tiloa village in Kuresoi, Nakuru County, said that was the race of her life.

“My maiden opportunity to represent Kenya in an international event went up in smoke following the postponement of the Africa Cross Country Championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

I think that was God’s plan. Now I am a world champion,” said the Form One student at Tiloa Mixed Secondary School.   

She dedicated the medal to her coaches and fellow pupils who have been supporting her .

“I take the accolades today because of winning, but there are alot of people who sacrificed for me.

I will not be able to mention their names but they are my heroes,” said the youngster who further added she was  happy that life is slowly getting back to normal after Covid-19 disrupted the lives of athletes due to cancellation of various sporting activities.

 Ethiopian Alemaz Samuel won  the last edition in Tampere  in 4:09.67.

 On her part, Jemutai dedicated her bronze medal to her father Micah Boinett who is a former 3,000m steeplechase athlete and has always inspired to go for the best. 

The 18-year-old who hails from Burnt Forest in Uasin Gishu County wants to advance to 5,000m and be like her role model world champion Helen Obiri.

“I love watching races and getting tips on what to do and when to react. That’s how I got interested in the 1,500m race and this is just the beginning for me.

I’m looking forward to competing well just like Hellen Obiri and Faith Chepng’etich,” said Jemutai.

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