Willy Rutto Komen of Kenya shoved off an impressive 14 seconds off his personal best to clock a new Championships record of 8:14.00 to win the men’s 3000m Steeplechase final.
The 2005 African Junior champion sprinted away from Bahraini Tareq Mubarak Taher coming off the last barrier as the two had sprinted shoulder to shoulder for the last 200 metres.
Taher claimed silver in 8:16.64 with Komen’s team-mate, Bisluke Kipkorir Kiplagat, the World Youth silver medallist, coming back from no-where to overtake Morocco’s Abdelghani Ait Bahmad for bronze.
It was a new personal best of 8:18.11 for Kiplagat and a new National Junior record for Ait Bahmad.
The Moroccan who had already finished fourth in front of his home crowd at last year’s World Youth Championships was inconsolable as he lied exhausted on the track.
Benjamin Kiplagat of Uganda set the early pace and held onto a five metres lead over the rest of the field until he was eventually caught by his Kenyan namesake with three laps to go.
With just over 800 metres to the finish Taher made a move at the front taking Komen and Ait Bahmad with him. At the bell, Kiplagat was as far down as ten metres behind the Moroccan but it proved not to be enough for Ait Bahmad to claim his country’s second medal of these championships.
It was Kenya’s tenth consecutive World Junior steeplechase title!
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