20 OCT 2000 Report Santiago de Chile, Chile

Men's 800m final

Nicholas Wachira from Kenya wins the men's 800m title in Santiago (© Allsport)Nicholas Wachira from Kenya wins the men's 800m title in Santiago (© Allsport) © Copyright

Just moments after Jebet Langat had got the women's 800 metres gold medal for Kenya, her compatriot Nicholas Wachira stepped on the track and the World Youth Champion last year in Poland quickly joined her on the Santiago roll of honour.

Wachira, had looked as though he was going to be one of the main contenders all the way through the preliminaries and just before the bell he took his familiar position at the front of the field and was never removed from the lead.

After the early pace had been set by Qatar's Abdul Sulaiman, who went through 200 metres in an unofficial 25.26 seconds, Wachira stopped the clock after 400 in 54.73.

At the beginning of the home straight the race had dissolved into a three-man contest for the medals, with France's Florent Lacasse and Spain's Antonio Reina following Wachira off the bend.

The order didn't change all the way to the line, although Wachira nearly opened the door to the Frenchman as he swerved into the second lane 60 metres from the line.

Lacasse briefly drew within the thickness of a running vest of getting in front before Wachira found another gear to secure his earnt victory.

Wachira won in 1:47.16 to become the third successive Kenyan to win the men's 800 title, and the fifth in total. His winning time was the fastest since his compatriot Benson Koech won the 1992 gold medal in what remains a championship record of 1:44.77.

Lacasse finished second in 1:47.61 while Reina's sprint finish was blunted by the consistently fast pace and the young Spaniard had to settle for third in 1:47.90.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF