Ethiopia’s middle-distance athletes were victorious in front of a vibrant crowd at Kasarani Stadium on a spectacular evening session on day four of the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017
NAIROBI, Kenya (IAAF)―Ethiopia’s middle-distance contingent spoiled the party for the host nation on Saturday, winning gold in the boys’ 800m and girls’ 1500m finals in front of a vibrant near-capacity crowd at Kasarani Stadium, on a spectacular evening session on day four of the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017.
The penultimate session was attended by nearly 88,000 spectators – 37,600 in the morning and 50,300 in the evening – making it the best attended session of any age-group athletics event in history.
And while some finals didn’t go all Kenya’s way, the contests were thrilling nonetheless.
The boys’ 800m contest evolved into a thrilling four-way battle in the final track event of the night.
After charging through the bell in 51.53, led by Japheth Toroitich of Kenya, the small lead group stayed together throughout the second lap.
While it seemed Toroitich might be able to hold on after his brave effort, Ethiopia’s Melese Nberet delivered a late kick to take gold in a new U18 world lead of 1:47.12.
“The race was fine. I knew I had to kick in the last meters so I preserved my energy in the first lap,” Nberet said afterwards.
His compatriot Tolesa Bodena also finished well, crossing the line in 1:47.16 to grab second place and secure a one-two for Ethiopia, with Toroitich holding on for third in 1:47.82, as both athletes clocked personal bests.
While Juan Castro of Costa Rica settled for fourth position in 1:49.76, he dipped under 1:50.00 for the first time in his career.
In the girls’ 1500m final, Ethiopia again upset the host nation to the disappointment of the local fans.
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