Kenya’s Mercy Chepkorir and Jackson Muema qualified for the second round in 3000m race for men and women at the 3rd edition of the Youth Olympics Games that is being held in Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Park.
Distance medallists will be decided based on placing’s over two stages, with 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeplechase athletes all entered for the cross country later in the programme.
Uganda’s Sarah Chalangat took control of the race when they reached 1800m mark and she held on as Chepkorir and Ethiopia’s Abersh Belay sparred for second behind, Chelangat remained unflustered, sprinting from the pair with 200m to go to win in a personal best 9:11.63. She was followed by Chepkorir outdueled Belay to cross the line in second place in 9:13.59 with the Ethiopian closing the first three finishes in 9:14.99.
In the men’s event, Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo showed brilliant resilience to hold off Ethiopia’s Berihu Teklehaimanot and Muema for another Ugandan win. The three moved to the front with 600m to go after reeling in Tanzania’s fast-starting Francis Damasi. Chelimo’s lead was marginal as the trio hit the bell, but he gave a powerful kick to cross the line in 8:08.20. Aregawi took second place in 8:09.17 with Kenyan crossing the line in third in 8:09.95.
A good win for both Ugandans, but they count for nothing until Monday’s off-road decider.