Superman Yego and Jepkemoi strike gold for Kenya!
Julius Yego is the new world champion in javelin. Yego’s massive throw of 92.72m earned Kenya its first gold medal in field events at the IAAF World Championships.
Two hours after Yego’s feat, Hyvin Jepkemoi clinched another gold medal for Kenya in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in a dramatic race.
Yego’s throw was a new African record – which erased Yego’s previous African mark of 91.39 which he sent this season at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham IAAF Diamond League two months ago – and is also the third best throw of all time.
Yego, who could only manage a fourth place at the last World Championships in Moscow, Russia, is also the Commonwealth Champion.
Egyptian Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed claimed silver with 88.99m for his country’s first-ever athletics world medal while Finland’s Tero Pitkamaki, 2007 champion and silver medallist in Moscow in 2013, took bronze (87.64).
The day’s showstopping act for Kenya was Jepkemoi’s remarkable surge in the homestretch to pip pre-race favourite Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia to gold in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase.
Jepkemoi’s victory wasn’t guaranteed even at the last water jump with Ghribi in charge at the point of the race. But Jepkemoi dug into her extra reserves in the last hurdle to cost home well ahead of Ghribi and Gesa Felicitas of Germany.
Jepkemoi’s winning time was 9:19.11 while Ghribi took silver in 9:19.24. Felicitas’ time of 9:19.25 for bronze was her personal best.
The other Kenyans in the race were Virginia Nyambura, who finished seventh in 9:26.21, and Rosefline Chepngetich (9:46.08) who was last amongst the 15 finalists.
The two gold medals from Yego and Jepkemoi takes Kenya’s medal tally to 11 (6 gold, 3 silvers and 2 bronze) on top of the standings on day 5 of the championships.