13 July 2017

Kenya: World Under-18 - Zakayo, Waithaka Cruise Into 3000m Final

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 Edward Zakayo and Stanley Mburu Waithaka on Thursday cruised into the final of the boys' 3,000m on the second day of the World Under-18 Championships at the Moi International Sports Centre Stadium, Kasarani.

Zakayo won the second heat, while Mburu was placed second in the first heat ahead of the finals set for Sunday.

Zakayo staged a gun-to-tape show to time 8:04.85 ahead of Ethiopian Milksesa Mengesha who was placed second with a Personal Best of 8:05.87 as Bereket Michael came home in third place with 8:37.67.

Zakayo is confident of clinching gold in the final but remains wary of the threat posed by the Ethiopians.

"It was a good performance but not my best. I hope to be at my best on before the final on Sunday," he said.

"I have to improve on my speed because the Ethiopians have shown that they can match us," he added.

Zakayo and Mengesha broke clear of the rest of the pack at 2,000m with the Kenyan just ahead and despite the Ethiopian trying to outsprint him on the final 300 metres, Zakayo held him off to finish in first place to the delight of the home fans.

Waithaka also ran a comfortable race managing to stay behind race winner Selemon Baega, who clocked a personal best of 7:55.73, , with the Kenyan second on 7:59.54 and Uganda's Oscar Chelimo third 8:08.09.

"I wanted to get to the final so badly and I am pleased with my display. We want to deliver gold and silver in the final," Waithaka said.

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