Kenyans sent a strong message to the rest of the world with impressive performances as the IAAF World Under-18 Championships began at Kasarani Stadium yesterday.
Dominic Kipkemboi and George Manangoi laid down the marker with dominant displays in the boys’ 1,500m, finishing strong to confirm their rising status in a race Kenya has dominated over the years.
Front-running Kipkemboi, who opened a 40-metre lead at the bell, caused some panic in the stadium when he started limping in the 100m homestretch as Algerian Oussama Cherrad charged behind him.
Kipkemboi however held on to win the race in a personal best of 3:48.77, beating Cherrad (3:48.98) in heat one and booking a slot in Friday's final.
Ethiopian Abebe Dessassa stopped the clock in 3:49.58 to finish third.
Manangoi, featuring in heat two, also did what he was expected to as he easily won the race in 3:55.00. Ethiopia’s Belete Makonen (3:56.1) finished second while Ugandan Daniel Kiprop registered 3:58.68 for third place.