Nairobi — Reynold Cheruiyot lived up to the billing of comparisons with his namesake, 2019 World Champion Timothy Cheruiyot, as he sensationally put up a superb sprint to win Kenya’s second gold in the men’s 1500m at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, Thursday morning.
Cheruiyot glided to victory in 3:35.83, beating Ethiopia’s Ermias Girma with a devastating finishing kick as compatriot Daniel Kimaiyo also produced a sizzling sprint to earn bronze, beating another Ethiopian, Adihana Kasaye.
Girma clocked 3:37.24 for the bronze while Kimaiyo clocked 3:37.43 for the bronze.
The Kenyan duo had taken the lead from the start as they chose to run upfront, not wanting to take the risk of being closed down by the park. The Ethiopian duo also followed through, ensuring they did not have so much ground to cover in the final lap.
At the bell, Kasaye took the lead as he sought to open up the gap with Girma following him, Cheruiyot sandwiched. Kimaiyo had began to drop off and it seemed the race was between the Ethiopian duo and the Kenyan.
At the home stretch though, the lanky Cheruiyot put on the afterburners, pedaling down a good finishing kick to beat off the Ethiopian, who didn’t have a response to the kick.
As Cheruiyot glided for gold, behind him, compatriot Kimaiyo who had seemed out of the medals dug deep into his energy reserves to find some finishing strength, passing down Kasaye for bronze.
At the same time, Kenya’s hope of a medal in the women’s 800m wasn’s successful as Nelly Chepchirchir finished fourth in a Personal best time of 2:01.42.
Roisin Willis of the USA won the race in a new Championship Record time of 1:59.13 while Switzerland’s Audrey Werro set a new Swiss National U20 Record of 1:59.53 to win silver. American Juliette Whittaker won bronze in 2:00.18.