Bett and Chespol capture World Junior Championship titles

Kipyegon Bett and Celliphine Chespol both lived up to their favorite-status, winning gold medals in the 800m and 3000m Steeplechase, respectively, at the IAAF World Junior (Under-20) Championships held 19-24 July in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

As Kipyegon Bett held the fastest performance (1:44.4) among the 800m entries in Bydgoszcz, he and fellow Kenyan Willy Tarbei (2015 IAAF World Youth Champion in the 800m ahead of Bett) were clear favorites to gain the top podium positions.  True to form, Bett easily advanced though his heat (1st in 1:50.82) and semi-final (1st in 1:46.37), to set up the anticipated re-match with Tarbei.  Bett immediately put his stamp on the final, assuming the lead as the runners broke from their lanes to reach a lap split of 52.98, with Tarbei on his shoulders.  Bett subsequently pulled away with a faster-yet second lap of 51.97, to claim the world junior title in 1:44.95, ahead of Tarbei’s 1:45.50.

Celliphine Chepteek Chespol likewise was a top-podium favorite in the 3000m Steeplechase, as her season best of 9:24.73 was over 7 seconds faster than anyone else entered in Bydgoszcz. After comfortably winning her heat in 9:55.21, Chespol would go on to dominate the final, taking the lead after the 1000m mark, then passing 2000m in 6:16.25, before closing with a 1000m split of 3:08.90 to cross the finish in 9:25.15, nine seconds ahead of silver medalist Tigist Tegnet (9:34.08).

While Bett and Chespol each are off to their first season under Personae management, several of the team veterans were in action over the weekend at the 10th stop on this season’s IAAF Diamond League circuit, the London Anniversary Games held 22-23 July at Olympic Stadium.  Noteworthy performers in London included Ferguson Rotich in the 800m (3rd in 1:44.38, maintaining his 800m Diamond Race points lead); Purity Kiriu in the 3000m SC (3rd in 9:30.95); Anne Zagre in the 100mH (4th in heat in season best 12.78/’16 Europe no. 6 and 7th in final in 12.94); and in the 5000, Isiah Koech (4th in 13:15.44), Bashir Abdi (7th in 13:19.16), and Paul Koech (8th in 13:23.10).

Finally, Personae athlete highlights from the Premium Meeting held 18-July in Sotteville-les-Rouen included Emily Cherotich in the 800m (1st in 2:00.89); Vincent Letting in the 1500m (2nd in 3:37.68); Gilbert Kwemoi in the 1500m (3rd in 3:37.76); and Hillary Yego in the 3000m SC (3rd in 8:22.35).

(photo Getty Images) 

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