Kenya finishes fourth in IAAF U18 Championships

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By Richard Munga

Kenya’s Jairus Birech fell five seconds short of winning the 3000 Meters Steeplechase race in the 10th leg of the IAAF Diamond league series, finishing behind Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali who clocked a personal best time of 8 minutes 05.12 seconds in front of the home crowd at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex Stadium.

The IAAF World Under 18 championships came to a close Sunday evening at the Kasarani Stadium, with Kenya finishing 4th on the medal standings  bagging 4 gold medals, 7 silver medals and 4 bronze medals.

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Morocco hosted the 10th leg of this season’s IAAF Diamond League Series.

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Conseslus Kipruto was the favorite to win the 3000 meters Steeplechase race but the Olympic Champion pulled out of the race with just over two laps to go, leaving Soufiane El Bakkali to dominate the race over the final two laps, clocking a personal best time of 8 minutes 05.12 seconds.

Kenya’s Jairus Birech came in second in a time of 8 minutes 10.91 seconds, while his counterparts Amos Kirui and Abraham Kibiwott finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

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In the women’s steeplechase, Gesa Felicitas Krause took command of the race over the last lap to collect her first career Diamond League victory, clocking 9:18.87, nearly two seconds ahead of Kenyan’s Norah Jeruto and Roseline Chepngetich, who clocked 9:20.51 and 9:20.69 respectively.

In the men’s 800 Meters, Botswana’s Nijel Amos won his fourth straight race, and third consecutive Diamond League contest, clocking 1 minute 43.91 seconds ahead of Kenya’s Kipyegon Bett.

Meanwhile Elaine Thompson won her 14th straight 100m race clocking 10.87 seconds, ahead of Ivory Coast’s Marie Josee Ta Lou.

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Canada’s Andre de Grasse fell just short of his sub-20 goal, but he did manage another Diamond League 200m win in 20.03, another meeting record, ahead of USA’s Ameer Webb and Great Britain’s Zharnell Hughes.

The men’s 100m quickly turned into a fierce two-way contest, with Chijindu Ujah of Great Britain holding off Ben Youssef Meite to win in 9.98, a season’s best and less than a second shy of his lifetime best.

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