What you need to know:
- Kenya have claimed gold-silver in four editions of the championships.
- Kenyan duo poised to dominate boys’ final race Friday evening, and may run as a team.
Dominic Kipkemboi has vowed there will be no more mistakes when they team up with compatriot George Manangoi in the boys’ 1,500m final at the World Under-18 Championships on Friday.
Kipkemboi staged an animated gun-to-tape victory in 3:48.77 in the semi-final of the metric mile race on Wednesday as Manangoi displayed a tactical masterclass to also claim his semi-final in 3:55.00.
“It was a good race and I know what to do in the final. I will talk to my friend Kipkemboi on the need to remain focused and run as a team until the end,” said Manangoi. “We shall do our best and for sure something nice beckons.”
After gaining a huge lead, Kipkemboi started waving to the cheering crowd and in the process hit the wall on the inside lane before limping across the finishing line. “We learn from mistakes and that won’t happen in the final,” said Kipkemboi.
The athletes were quick to caution about the threat from Ethiopia. “I have seen how they run and they are still a potential threat,” warned Manangoi, the brother of World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi.
Kenya has only lost the 1,500m twice since the inaugural 1999 Championships in Poland where Cornelius Chirchir and Michael Too staged a 1-2 sweep over the metric mile race. Chirchir went on to win the title at the 2000 World Under-20 Championships in Chile.
Two-time World Athletics Final bronze medallist Isaac Songok won the 2001 World Under-18 1,500m in Hungary in a CR of 3:36.78 while Benson Marrianyi and Samson Kiplangat went for a 1-2 feat at the 2003 Championships in Canada.
Kenya missed the title at the 2005 Championships in Morocco when Belal Mansoor Ali from Bahrain reigned but Fredrick Ndunge Musyoki reclaimed the crown for Kenya, guiding Josphat Kithii Mitunga to a 1-2 victory at the 2007 competition in Czech.
Kenya registered its fourth 1-2 finish at 2009 Championships in Italy with Gideon Kiage Mageka and Caleb Mwangangi, the current World 5,000m silver medallist, claiming the honour.
Kenya lost the title for the second and last time at the 2011 event in France where Ethiopian Teshome Dirirsa beat Vincent Kiprotich and Jonathan Sawe to gold.
Kenya was back in business when Robert Kiptoo Biwott won during the 2013 competition held in Donetsk, Ukraine before Kumari Taki crushed Songok’s CR in 2015 Cali, Colombia. Taki went on to win the World Undre-20 1,500m title last year in Poland.