NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – Kenya lost the men’s 5,000m title at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia after Samuel Kibathi fell a few metres to the line as he frantically leaned forward to try grab bronze while Nelson Mandela finished eighth.
Kibathi had dug deep into his energy reserves in the final 50m of the race to try battle for bronze with Ethiopia’s Adisu Yihune gliding away to victory and Eritrea’s Merhawi Mebrahtu in second for silver, but he only fumbled down on the track with Samuel Habtom passing him down for third.
Yihune timed 14:03.05 while Mebrahtu clocked 14:03.33 and Samuel 14:03.67 for the podium.
Kibathi woke up from his fall to finish sixth in 14:07.82 while the other Kenyan in the race Mandela finished eighth in a time of 14:13.21.
The cagy race had seen a huge leading pack of almost seven athletes go together until the final lap when Yihune made his move and the Eritrean duo ran off on the outside at the home stretch.
Kenya won the 5,000m title in Nairobi last year when Benson Kiplangat beat Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku in a sprint finish while Levy Kibet won bronze.