13 July 2017

Kenya: Jeruto, Wambui Sweep Into 800m Semis at Kasarani

Photo: Chris Omollo/Daily Nation
Kenya's Stanley Waithaka (left) battles Ethiopia's Barega Selemon in 3000m Heat One during the IAAF World Under-18 Athletics Championship.

Kenyans Lydia Jeruto and Jackline Wambui eased into the semi-finals of girls' 800m after obliterating their respective fields in the IAAF World Under-18 Championships at Moi International Sports Centre Stadium, Kasarani on Thursday.

Jeruto won heat one in a time of 2:10.37, while Wambui was also in impressive fashion as she cruised to victory in the fourth heat clocking 2:08.04.

The 17-year-old Jeruto defied the cold weather conditions, running a tactical race that she controlled at the bell before opening a 50m gap between her and the chasing pack of Mauritius' Chaimae Ismail and Andrea Raissa Hodja.

"This is just the first step, there is more work to be done so that we can get to the final. From there, hopefully we will be among the medal winners," Jeruto, who is coached by Barnabas Kiptilit said.

Ismail was second in 2:13.15 as Hodja completed the top three places after clocking 2:14.42.

Wambui also led from the start to the end to join Jeruto in the semi-finals, keeping the country's medal prospects alive in the competition.

Wambui, who hails from Muranga County, opened a gap between herself and Ethiopia's Heirut Meshesha at 600m and despite seeming to tire at the end, she held off to reach the semi-finals.

Meshesha clocked 2:09.74 and Klara Lukan rounded off the top three in 2:11.66. Kenya is yet to win the girls 800m title since Cherono Koech's exploits at the 2009 Championships in Brixen, Italy.

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