News20 Aug 2006

Women's 1500m Final


17yearold Irene Jelagat led the third Kenyan middle-distance double of these Championships as she completed a 60-second last lap to clinch the women’s 1500m gold medal.

It was a gun to tape win for the Eastern African who clocked a new personal best 4:08.88 to become only the second ever Kenyan woman to win the 1500m World Junior title.

“I started very well,” said a delighted winner. “I planned to run in front at first. I broke my PB and this is above my expectations.”

“Yes, I was 10 metres ahead of second but I didn’t know it until I passed the finish line.”

16-year-old Mercy Jelimo Kosgei clocked 4:12.48 to add the World Junior silver to her African Junior Championships silver medal and this winter’s bronze from the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Japan’s Yuriko Kobayashi, the fastest junior in the world this year won the race for bronze as she out-dipped Ethiopia’s Emebet Etea Bedada 4:12.88 to 4:12.94.

A World Youth silver medallist in Marrakech, Kobayashi could not resist to the Kenyan pair but had just enough left in the tank to prevent an African sweep of the medals.

Jelagat led a compact pack in 1:06.99 at 400m and by the time she went past the 800m mark in 2:17.74 it was only her, Kosgei and Bedada at the front, the rest of the field not far behind.

At the bell, Jelagat made her move and quickly gained 5 metres over her country woman while Kobayashi had caught up with Bedada.

Jelagat who clearly wanted to avoid a sprint finish ran an amazing solo in the last lap to clinch her country’s sixth medal of the competition.

"I started very well," said a delighted winner. "

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