two finish for Kenya as Veronica Nyaruai Wanjiru and Pauline Chemning Korikwiang claimed gold and silver respectively in the women’s 3000m final here in Beijing.
Wanjiru who had been beaten into second by Korikwiang in this winter’s Junior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships sprinted away from her older team-mate with 150 metres to go to cross the finish line in a season’s best 9:02.90. Korikwiang who had led for most of the race clocked 9:05.21 to secure Kenya’s second 3000m World Junior double in the history of the Championships.
Liwei Song lowered her personal best to 9:06.35 to claim bronze for the host country.
Korikwiang took the lead at the first kilometre mark (3:08.46) after the Russian pair of Viktoria Ivanova and Natalya Starkova had set the early pace.
With 5 laps to go, Korikwiang, the World Youth silver medallist in Marrakesh ran a very fast lap to shake the pack. Only Belaynesh Zemedkun Gebre of Ethiopia, Wanjiru and Song remained in close contact.
The pace suddenly dropped down again and with just over three laps to go the leading pack was back to 12 athletes. The second kilometre was reached in 6:11.58 but the situation at the front would soon change as Korikwiang set off again.
With 500 metres to go she led Song and Wanjiru, Gebre having dropped back by a good five metres.
Neither Korikwiang nor Song could respond to the devastating kick of last year’s World Youth champion who sped away for a very comfortable win.
Gebre was eventually fourth in 9:10.92 preceding with the five athletes following her to the line all setting new personal bests.
In tenth, Azra Aminovic set a new national junior record for Serbia, the 212th Member Federation of the IAAF.