Authoritative Cherotich delivers steeplechase gold in Cali, Mutunga claims 400m silver

Authoritative Cherotich delivers steeplechase gold in Cali, Mutunga claims 400m silver

Bronze medallist last year, when the World U20 Championships was held on her home soil in Nairobi, she was determined to get gold this time and put in a dominant display to leave Ethiopia’s world U20 leader Sembo Almayew with no response.

Faith Cherotich in action at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi in August 2021

Kenya’s Faith Cherotich put up an authoritative display in winning gold at the World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia on Friday morning.

That much was clear as the 18-year-old blasted away at the very start in the women’s 3000m steeplechase final. It was a lead she would never relinquish.

Bronze medallist last year, when the World U20 Championships was held on her home soil in Nairobi, she was determined to get gold this time and put in a dominant display to leave Ethiopia’s world U20 leader Sembo Almayew with no response.

Almayew had run 9:09.19 in June, a second consecutive world U18 best. But Cherotich had clocked 9:12.04 in Nairobi in May and went quickest in the qualifying round in Cali.

In the final, Cherotich led an early breakaway group of five that was quickly strung out. Almayew reacted straight away and remained just a step behind, until she could hold on no longer.

Cherotich had build around a five-second lead with two laps remaining and was 11 seconds ahead at the bell.

She only increased that further and went on to win in 9:16.14, with Almayew second in 9:30.41 and her Ethiopian teammate Meseret Yeshaneh third in 9:42.02. Outside the medals there was a battle for fourth, Tunisia’s Rihab Dhahri pipping Kenya’s Pamela Kosgei, 10:06.42 to 10:06.46.

In the women’s 400m final,  Kenya’s Damaris Mutunga won silver in a new U20 national record of 51.71 seconds with Great Britain's Yemi Mary John bagging gold in 51.50

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