More gold on the cards as indefatigable Kipruto lead charge in steeplechase
Tension has eased in Team Kenya’s camp here in Gold Coast, Australia after Wycliffe Kinyamal bagged Kenya her first gold medal on Friday at the ongoing Commonwealth Games after an excruciating wait spanning nine days.
Kinyamal was in his best element on Thursday with a solid performance to win the 800m men final and his victory was a sigh of relieve for a country that had held her collective breath prior to the race.
Meanwhile, buoyed by Kinyamal’s impressive show, Olympic and World champion Conseslus Kipruto take to the track today at 12.30pm, together with Abraham Kibiwott hoping to extend Kenya’s dominance in the 3,000m steeplechase final.
Kipruto said that he will be seeking a Commonwealth Games title to add to his glittering trophy cabinet.
“This is my first Commonwealth Games. It is also the only major title that I do not have in my CV. So it’s good I hunt the medal. A victory for me will mean a lot and it will be on my ranking as the best athlete in this discipline,” said the Rio 2016 Olympics Games title holder.
Later at 2:10pm, Jonathan Ndiku will team up with Josphat Kipkoech and Rogers Kwemoi in ensuring that Uganda’s Joshua Cheptigei does not add the 10,000m crown to the 5,000m title he already bagged.
Ndiku urged Kenyans to be patient with the team, adding that there are races remaining that Kenyans can still win medals in.
“ I’m going to keep up with leading pack until the bell goes.From then the race proper will start. Please do not be worried about the medals; there are several races that we are yet to compete in and I believe that my teammates will deliver in their disciplines,” assured Ndiku.
Earlier today, World champion Elijah Managoi, World silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot and World U-20 champion Kumari Taki qualified for Saturday’s 1,500m finals.
Also, the men’s 4X400m relay team qualified for Saturday’s finals having waited for a long time to compete at the international arena.
Collins Omae, Boniface Mweresa, Mike Mukamba and Peter Mwai clocked 3 minutes, 13.52 seconds to finish second behind Botwana which clocked a season best of 3:05.01.
Commonwealth Games javelin defending champion Julius Yego’s fate is unknown in progressing to Saturday’s finals. Yego, blamed the technical officials, citing frustrations during competition.
“I feel disappointed with the officials so I’m not happy. I have to go and check the video because I made the protest. They have told me to go and check it. I complained in two throws; for example during the third throw the cone was still on the run way, the yellow card is up so you can’t throw when the cone is on the run way. If the yellow card is up it means you have a limited time to stay there on the runway,” said the visibly disappointed 2015 Beijing World champion.
Yego had a good start of about 80m but did not go through after the technical officials said that he had stepped on the line.
His countryman Alex Kiprotich bowed out of the competition after a throw of 74.88m in group ‘A’ qualifying round, while Yego ranked sixth in after a best throw of 74.55m in group B.