Kenya, the hotbed of world champions
It was a marveling seven-star performance for Kenya as the country claimed its maiden overall title at IAAF World Championships on Sunday in Beijing, China.
A majestic Asbel Kiprop wrapped up the historic performance when he stormed to this third consecutive victory in men’s 1,500m race, a performance that brought the packed 80,000-seater Bird’s Nest Stadium to its feet.
Elijah Manangoi wrapped up a 1-2 finish for Kenya just like in 2011 Daegu, dipping his head ahead of Moroccan Abdalaati Iguider to snatch silver in 3:34.63. Iguider took bronze in 3:34.67.
Kiprop and Manangoi’s feat that preceded Helah Kiprop’s silver medal from women’s Marathon race in the morning saw Kenya top the medal standing with 16 medals; seven gold, six silver and three bronze.
They beat heavyweights Jamaica to second with 7-2-3 and United States of America to third with 5-6-6.
Kenya’s best ever show at the World Championships was during the 2011 Daegu where they claimed 17 medals (7 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze).
However, the haul from 2011 Daegu supersedes Beijing’s 15th edition of the World Championships by a bronze. Kenya finished third overall in 2011 Daegu behind USA and Russia.
The only other outing that came close to rivaling that performance was the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where the Team Kenya won 14 medals (6 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze).
Vivian Cheruiyot who gave Kenya its first gold medal when she recaptured the 10,000m title she won at the 2011 Daegu Worlds.
Then Olympic champion and World record holder David Rudisha would strike gold after two previous seasons of injuries.
Nicholas Bett would make history as the first Kenyan to win sprints event at the World Championships with the 400m hurdles gold medal.
Ezekiel Kemboi would chalk up an unprecedented four World 3,000m steeplechase titles in a row as Julius Yego’s pioneering exploits in javelin went a notch higher when he became the first Kenya to win a major in field events with victory in javelin.
Hyvin Kiyeng was on top of her game to ensure that the women’s 3,000m steeplechase title won by Milcah Chemo for the first time in 2013 Moscow remained in Kenya.
Gold: Men – David Rudisha (800M); Asbel Kiprop (1,500m); Nicholas Bett (400m hurdles); Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000m steeplechase); Julius Yego (Javelin).
Women – Vivian Cheruiyot (10,000m); Hyvin Kiyeng (3,000m steeplechase)
Silver: Men – Elijah Manangoi (1,500m); Caleb Mwangangi (5,000m), Geoffrey Kamworor (10,000m); Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase).
Women – Faith Chepng’etich (1,500m); Helah Kiprop (Marathon)
Bronze: Men – Paul Tanui (10,000m), Brimin Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase)
Women: Eunice Sum (800m)