Voice of Sport

Margaret Wambui, Kiplimo Sawe grab Gold to give Kenya lead in Oregon

Kenyan girl proved too strong for the Cuban, crossing the line in the second-fastest winning time in the history of the championships. Her time of 2:00.49 is also an African youth best

MARGARET Nyairera Wambui ran the race of her life, three seconds faster than her previous lifetime best which she set in Wednesday’s semi-final, as she won over two laps of the track in 2:00.49.

In her first season of high level competition, the 17-year-old sprinted away from Cuba’s pre-race favourite Sahily Diago, attacking from 70 metres out, to claim Kenya’s fourth junior title in the women’s 800m but the first one in 12 years.

Astonishingly hard

Iceland’s Anita Hinriksdottir went out astonishingly hard and broke the group into two as she hit the first 200 metres in 27.24 and covered the first lap in a blistering 56.33 as Kenya’s Maximila Imali bowed out of the fight for the medals after falling 150 metres into the race.

The world youth and European junior champion could not sustain her pace and at just before 550 metres Hinriksdottir started to flag badly, before Wambui and Diago closed the five-metre advantage she held and swept past her midway down the back straight.

Final stretch

After covering 600m in 1:27.87, Wambui and Diago continued to battle around the bend before entering the final stretch, where Wambui proved too strong for the Cuban, crossing the line in the second-fastest winning time in the history of the championships. Her time of 2:00.49 is also an African youth best.

Women’s 800 Final Results

1. Margaret Nyairera Wambui KEN 2:00.49
2. Sahily Diago CUB 2:02.11
3. Georgia Wassall AUS 2:02.71

Jonathan Kiplimo Sawe became the eighth Kenyan man to win the men’s world junior 1500m title when he kicked away from his team-mate Hillary Cheruiyot Ngetich on the homestretch to reach the finish in 3:40.02.

Ngetich, the silver medalist in 2012, was overhauled by Djibouti’s Abdi Waiss Mouhyadin for silver in 3:41.38; Ngetich finished in 3:41.61.

Ngetich took off fast from the gun but settled once he reached the front, going through 400m in 58.23 but 800m in a more pedestrian 2:01.31 with the whole field packed up behind him.


At the bell, Sawe came to the front and pulled Ngetich, Mouhyadin and Brazil’s Thiago Andre clear of the pack. Sawe reached full flight on the backstretch, and despite Ngetich’s best efforts to close the gap, he wouldn’t be challenged for the remainder of the race.

Sawe covered the final 400m faster than 54 seconds.

Of the 15 world junior 1500m finals, Kenyans have now won nine. Mouhyadin won Djibouti’s first medal of any kind at the World Junior Championships.

Men 1,500m Final Results:

1. Jonathan Kiplimo Sawe KEN 3:40.02
2. Abdi Waiss Mouhyadin DJI 3:41.38
3. Hillary Cheruiyot Ngetich KEN 3:41.61


After the two Gold medal victories Kenya took an early lead at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

The Kenyan youth have bagged 2 Gold medals, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze medals after three days of competition. They are ahead of the USA who have 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze while Great Britain are third with 2 Gold and 1 Bronze.

Kenya’s medals have come from Margaret Nyairera Wambui (women’s 800m -Gold), Jonathan Kiplimo Sawe (men’s 1500m -Gold), Elvis Cheboi (men’s 10,000m -Silver), Lilian Rengeruk (women’s 3,000m -Silver), Nicholas Kosimbei (men’s 10,000m -Bronze), Agnes Tirop (women’s 5,000m -Bronze), Valentina Matieko (women’s 3,000m -Bronze) and Hillary Ng’etich (men’s 1,500m – Bronze)

-Reported by Javier Clavelo Robinson and Parker Morse for IAAF