Brave Zakayo taunts Ethiopia after fine performance in Tampere


Kenya’s Edward Pingua Zakayo celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the athletic's men's 5000...
(FILE)Kenya’s Edward Pingua Zakayo celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the athletic's men's 5,000m final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 8, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS

In Summary

  • Edward Zakayo, the World Under-20 champion in 5,000m has passed a terse warning to Ethiopia adding that Kenya is ready to go head-to- head with their perennial rivals.
  • Speaking to Citizen Digital in Nairobi, Zakayo who is also the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist said he is no longer afraid of Selemon Barega of Ethiopia whom he defeated in the just concluded IAAF World Under -20 Championships in Tampere Finland.
  • It was Kenya’s best ever show at the junior championships where Kenyans topped the medal table for the fourth time in the history with 11 medals (six gold, four silver and one bronze medal).

Edward Zakayo, the World Under-20 champion in 5,000m has passed a terse warning to Ethiopia adding that Kenya is ready to go head-to- head with their perennial rivals.

Speaking to Citizen Digital in Nairobi, Zakayo who is also the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist said he is also no longer afraid of Selemon Barega of Ethiopia whom he defeated in the just concluded IAAF World Under -20 Championships in Tampere Finland.

“Never underrate us. When I saw Barega fading to fourth position, I was very delighted because that was our plan with Waithaka – to beat him. He had probably thought he beat us like in 2017 during the World Under -18 Championships. This time we wanted to prove them wrong by doing very well,” Zakayo, the World Under -18 silver medalist said.

Zakayo claimed victory in 13 minutes and 20.16 seconds as Waithaka settled for silver, coming second in 13:20.57 to hand Kenya a 1-2 finish in the men’s 5,000m in Tampere, Finland at the weekend.

Meanwhile, head coach Robert Ngisirei has requested Athletics Kenya to ensure junior team gets exposure before travelling outside the country. Ngisirei said that most of the young athletes who did not perform well were as a result of fear; being their first time to travel abroad and also meeting with other experienced athletes.

“I would like to call upon Athletics Kenya to make sure that young athletes are exposed before travelling to any championships especially those participating for the first time. This will help them know how to carry themselves out of the country,”he said.

Rhonex Kipruto clocks 27:08 in New York (NYRR/IAAF/organisers)
Rhonex Kipruto clocks 27:08 in New York (NYRR/IAAF/organisers)

On Day One of the championships in Finland, Kenya opened her medal tally from Rhonex Kipruto in men’s 10,000m final and Beatrice Chebet’s victory in women’s 5,000m.

Solomon Lekuta brought the sixth gold for Kenya after winning a tight competition in men’s 800m race, clocking 1:46.35, followed by Ngeno Kipngetich, who was competing for the first time and clocked a personal best of 1:46.45, while Algeria’s Oussama Cherrad was third in 1:47.10 to claim the bronze.

Part of the team including the World Under- 20 silver medalist in 800m Ngeno Kipngetich, and Leonard Bett, who got silver, also in men’s 3000m steeple chase, arrived on Monday.

It was Kenya’s best ever show at the junior championships where Kenyans topped the medal table for the fourth time in the history with 11 medals (six gold, four silver and one bronze medal).

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Story By Carol Kones
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