Barega denies Zakayo, Mburu in 3000m thriller

Sunday July 16 2017

Kenya's Edward Zakayo (left) and Stanley Waithaka pose for photos after bagging silver and bronze respectively in the boys 3000m during the World Under 18 Championships on July 16, 2017 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya's Edward Zakayo (left) and Stanley Waithaka pose for photos after bagging silver and bronze respectively in the boys 3000m during the World Under 18 Championships on July 16, 2017 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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By BRIAN YONGA
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Kenya lost the boys’ 3,000m title to Ethiopia when favourite Edward Zakayo and Stanley Mburu settled for silver and bronze respectively on the final day of the World Under-18 Championships on Sunday at Kasarani.

Experienced Selemon Barega ruined Kenya’s party when he held off Zakayo and Mburu’s challenge in the last 300m to win in a personal best of 7 minutes and 47.16 seconds.

Zakayo’s effort to chase Barega, who almost left the Kenyan tumbling when he overtook him, fell short to settle for silver in a personal best of
7:49.17 as Mburu sealed the last podium place also in a best time of 7:50.64.

Ethiopia's Selemon Barega (left) leads Kenya's Edward Zakayo (centre) and Stanley Waithaka in the boys 3000m final during the World Under 18 Championships on July 16, 2017 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Ethiopia's Selemon Barega (left) leads Kenya's Edward Zakayo (centre) and Stanley Waithaka in the boys 3000m final during the World Under 18 Championships on July 16, 2017 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

The regional rivals teased each other to exchange leads buts its Zakayo who took the lead at 2,000m, drawing Mburu along. However, Barega went ahead at the bell before Zakayo and Mburu went to front again.

“The Ethiopian was a bit stronger with the finishing kick. They were a bit more experienced than us but we gave our best,” said Zakayo, the form one student at Kapsait High School in Elgeyo Marakwet. “I am not done yet since this is the beginning of my rivalry with these Ethiopians.”

Mburu said he is happy to secure a podium finish and hopes to refine on his finishing power going forward. “It’s not easy to set personal best…I am over the moon,” said Mburu.