Sixteen-year-old Tigist Gashaw became only the second Ethiopian to win the girls’ World youth 1500m title when she sped to a 4:14.25 win ahead of team-mate Dawit Seyaum (4:15.51); it was also the first 1-2 finish at the distance for the Ethiopians in the history of the championships.
After leading for most of the race, Alexa Efraimson of the USA was rewarded for her brave efforts with a bronze medal in 4:16.07.
Efraimson took a compact pack of 12 through 400m in 1:09.93 with the Ethiopian pair constantly on her heels. Neither Gashaw nor Seyaum had any intention of making a move at the front so it was Efraimson who took the task at hand until Great Britain’s Bobby Clay made an impressive move of her own with 500 metres to go.
Knowing that her Ethiopian rivals had a superior finishing kick, the diminutive British runner went all out taking the group through 800m in 2:22.29. Clay’s brave attempt was short lived and at the bell, Seyaum passed on the inside and Gashaw on the outside. Efraimson also looked strong and she too went past Clay who was rewarded with a personal best 4:16.41 but outside the medals.