Kiprop, Manangoi lead Kenyan quartet into 1500m semis

(Front L-R) Morocco's Abdalaati Iguider, Poland's Marcin Lewandowski, Kenya's Asbel Kiprop, Kenya's Elijah Motonei Manangoi, ...
(Front L-R) Morocco's Abdalaati Iguider, Poland's Marcin Lewandowski, Kenya's Asbel Kiprop, Kenya's Elijah Motonei Manangoi, Ethiopia's Samuel Tefera and Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleiman compete in the men's 1500m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK

The Kenyan quartet vying for the 1500m title at the IAAF World Championships in London capped a stellar display from the East African athletics powerhouse as they all earned qualification to Friday’s semi-finals.

Beijing Olympics gold medalist and three-time World champion Asbel Kiprop and Beijing silver medalist Elijah Manangoi comfortably secured their automatic slots in the first heat with Timothy Cheruiyot following suit in the third.

Kiprop, who is gunning for a fourth successive World title at the English, started the race with his usual signature style of sitting back but made his move in the last lap to finish in 3:45.96 behind Manangoi (3:45.93) who is the world leader.

Cheruiyot, the Africa silver medalist timed the fast qualifying mark (3:38.41) behind Australia’s Luke Mathews who won that heat in 3:38.19.

Commonwealth silver medalist Ronald Kwemoi found his way to the semis via the longer route, sailing through as the fastest loser with a time of 3:43.10 that had left him placed seventh in his heat.

-Kenyan medal rush-

Kenya will be in the hunt for more medals in the women’s 3000m steeplechase final on Friday.

Rio Olympics silver medallist and defending World champion Hyvin Kiyeng will line up alongside her teammates; Commonwealth Games champion Purity Kirui, World Junior Champion Celliphine Chepteek Chespol and Beatrice Chepkoech.

The quartet will be hoping they can seal a first Kenyan clean podium sweep at the global track and field showpiece but will have to contend with Kenyan-born Bahraini, Ruth Jebet who is the Olympic champion and world record holder.

Kenya has a total of seven medals; three gold, a silver and three bronze medals.

Friday, August 11 (Kenyan time)

9:35pm Women 800m Semi-final

10:10pm Men 1500m Semi-final

11:25pm Women 3000m steeplechase final

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Story By Charity Wanja
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