Jeruto, Wambui confront jinx in 800m final
It is now eight years since Kenya won the girls’ 800m title at the World Under-18 Athletics Championships.
Cherono Koech claimed victory at the 2009 event in Brixen, Italy in a championship record time of 2 minutes and 01.67 seconds.
No Kenyan girl has ever finished on the podium in the last three editions - 2015 Cali, Colombia, 2013 Donetsk, Ukraine and 2011 Lille, France.
There is no doubt what Lydia Jeruto and Jackline Wambui will be up to when girls’ 800m race his held today with the duo determined to wrap up the event in style for the host nation.
Jeruto looks stronger than Wambui by virtue of her personal best of 2 minutes and 03.17 seconds, having won the pre-trials in Eldoret but it is Wambui, who won the national trials with a personal best of 2:06.63.
“I know all the eyes will be on us to perform and for sure we shall give it the best shot,” said Wambui. “It’s long since Kenya won but I hope to give my country something to smile about at home.”
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Wambui, who is a Form Three student as Riruta Central is set to draw inspiration from schoolmate Cellphine Chespol, the 2016 World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase and 2015 World Under-18 2,000m steeplechase champion and her role model and former schoolmate Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri.
After representing Kenya at the World Under-18 and Youth Commonwealth Games starting 19-30 in Bahamas, Wambui intends to shift gears to 1,500m.
Jeruto said they will embrace team work and look out for their rivals with an eye on a 1-2 finish.
With Ethiopia’s Netsanet Desta, who had a best time of 2:04.12 having been disqualified, compatriot Hirut Meshesha (2:05.29) will be the rival expected to throw spanners into Kenyan works.
Milena Korbut from Poland, who boosts a best time of 2:06.98 is also another athlete that can spoil the party for the Kenyan girls.
“At this time, you can’t bet on who between Jeruto and Wambui will win since they are all in top shape, ready for the battle. What I know is that one of them will win and there is the possibility of a 1-2 from Kenya,” said head coach Kariuki Gikonyo.
Source: link Daily Nation