Africans have won all editions of the World U18 Championships in this discipline and the series is almost certain to continue through this year’s edition.
The two fastest times this year belong to the Kenyans who placed first and second in the national trials. World U20 silver medallist Emmaculate Chepkirui, the winner of that race in 9:05.70, also placed ninth in the U20 race at this year's World Cross Country Championships. Her compatriot Beatrice Chebet has no international experience, but she was not far behind in the trials race with 9:07.00.
As usual, the main competition to Kenya should come from Ethiopia. Maritu Ketema has a best of 9:20.05, but her 3000m steeplechase best of 9:39.55 and the silver medal she won over the barriers at the African U20 Championships suggest she has the potential to go much faster. Her teammate Abersh Minsewo is the next fastest among the entrants with 9:21.75.
Pawel Jackowski for the IAAF