Nairobi — On the final day of action in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, Kenya will have three opportunities to increase its medal tally with the men’s 5,000m, women’s steeplechase and 800m finals coming up.
With six medals so far (two gold, two silver and two bronze) and sitting in seventh place, Kenya can change all that with a spirited performance on the last day.
Here is Team Kenya’s schedule for the last day of action in Budapest.
9:20pm – Men’s 5,000m final
Jacob Krop clinched silver in Budapest last year, and he will lead the Kenyan charge for a medal once again, supported by compatriot Ishmael Kipkurui, the reigning World Junior Cross Country Champion.
The two, a half of the Kenyan team for the 12-and-1-half lap race, made it to the final by the skin of their teeth, finishing in the last two automatic qualification slots in the Heats.
Nicholas Kimeli and Cornelius Kemboi fell by the wayside and the two now charge up the hunt for a medal in this distance.
Defending champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen will be in the mix, keen to make amends in the 5k after failing to clinch the 1500m title, where he won silver.
Apart from Ingebrigtsen, the Ethiopian charge of Berihu Aregawi, the world leader over the distance this season and Yomif Kejelcha, will offer stiff competition.
Kenyan-turned American Paul Chelimo and Spain’s Mohamed Katir are also figures to look out for in the race. Katir, ranked second in the world this season, had the fastest qualification time from the Heats.
9:45pm – Women’s 800m final
Mary Moraa, bronze medal winner from Budapest last year, will be riding solo in the Kenyan colors in this race. The reigning Commonwealth Games champion showed how good of a shape she is in with assured and measured performances, winning in both the Heats and the Semis.
She beat defending champion Athing Mu in the semi-finals, but the American had a trip towards the home stretch. But, the battle is expected between the two.
Uganda’s Halima Nakaayi and Great Britain’s Keeley Hodgkinson, ranked third in the world this year, will also be two to watch from the race.
10:05pm – Women’s steeplechase final
Among the events that Kenya has been greatly tipped to clinch gold and possibly sweep the podium, is the women’s steeple. Incontrast to the men’s race, the women have been in good form this season.
Jackline Chepkoech, ranked second in the world this year, reigning world junior champion Faith Cherotich and world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech are up for duty.
Chepkoech has worked her way back to top fitness after struggling with an injury and missing the defense of her title in Budapest last year and should be the one to watch from this race.
Usually a front runner from the go, Chepkoech is hungry to reclaim her crown and the top spot in the water and barriers race.
She didn’t push herself too much in the Heats, as she seemingly and understandably preserved much of her energy for what is expected to be a blockbuster final.
Close friends with Cherotich and Jackline, team work is expected to be at play when they step on the tartan at the National Stadium in Budapest.
Among the competition to keep a clean eye on include Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai as well as Kenyan turned Bahraini Winfred Mutile Yavi.