Little-known Kenyan girl, Lilian Kasait Rengeruk, announced herself on the big stage on Wednesday, winning the girls 3000m with a World Youth leading time of 8:58.74 on the first day of the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Rengeruk, 16, showed that her victory over the World junior champion Mercy Chebwogen at the Kenyan Trials in Nairobi was no fluke as she took control of the race from the beginning, passing 1000m in 3:01.10 and 2000m in 6:02.53.
Ethiopians Berhan Demiesa (9:00.06) and Silenat Yismaw (9:01.63) took the silver and bronze medals respectively with personal best times. Uganda’s Stella Chesang was fourth in a lifetime best 9:11.03 while Chebwogen faded badly to finish in eighth place timed 9:27.98.
Alfred Kipketer of Kenya clocked the fastest time of the boys 800m rounds with his 1:50.14 with Ethiopia’s Mamush Lencha (1:50.30), Kenya’s Patrick Ronoh (1:51.50) and Britain’s Kyle Langford (1:51.88) notable qualifers.
Justus Lagat of Kenya was the fastest in the 2000m Steeplechase heats in 5:35.22. Nicholas Bett, who beat Lagat at the Kenyan Trials, ran 5:44.69 to win his heat as well as Ethiopian pair Michaele Atsbaha and Meresa Kahsay.
World youth leader Helene Swanepoel of South Africa also advanced to the next round of the girls 400m Hurdles in 60.34 as five girls in total dipped under 60 seconds.