Leonard Bett wins the 2000m steeplechase at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (© Getty Images)
After missing out to Ethiopia in most of the distance races at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017, Kenya won the one gold medal they would have wanted more than any other, with Leonard Bett charging to victory in the boys' 2000m steeplechase final on Sunday (16).
Locked in a battle against compatriot Cleophas Meyan all the way to the line, Bett won a sprint finish in 5:32.52, much to the delight of the large crowd which turned out on the last day of action at the five-day showpiece.
Meyan took the silver medal in 5:33.07, chopping nearly three seconds off his personal best, and Ethiopia's Alemu Kitessa came through for bronze in 5:42.10.
“The race went as planned and I'm happy our strategy for me to kick in the last 200m worked well,” Bett said.
“We were not worried about the Ethiopians at all.”
It was Kenya's eighth victory in the boys' steeplechase at 10 editions of these championships.
“The fans were awesome. They really motivated us,” added the gold medallist.
“We had to maintain the tradition of steeplechase as a race.”
Wesley Botton for the IAAF