This year will be first time in Kenyan running history of not sending three athletes to the final in the nine Olympics games that Kenya has participated in.
Abraham Kibiwott and Benjamin Kigen are Kenya’s hope as Leonard Bett failed to make the cut at the Tokyo Olympics games that was held on Friday morning at the OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan
World silver-medalist Lamecha Girma from Ethiopia sailed to the final of the men’s 3,000m steeplechase with the fastest time of 8:09.83.
The 20-year-old who took the second place at the 2019 world championships in Doha carries on his shoulders the world’s leading time of of 8:07.75 that he set at the Monaco Diamond League earlier this month.
This year’s 3,000m steeplechase finals that will be held on Monday will be wide open as the defending champion Conseslus Kipruto failed to qualify for the tournament and will not defend his title that he won in Rio Olympics five years ago.
The East African nation now now will put their hopes on Kibiwot, who pulled the second fastest time of 8:12.25.
“The race was good, it was actually fantastic,” he said. “Tokyo is hot, the temperature is high but we are hoping to make Kenya proud as usual.”
Benjamin Kigen who also qualified with a season best of 8:10.80 will partner with Kibiwott in making sure that steeplechase gold and silver comes homes.
The two Kenyans will face off with the ever green Lamecha and Getnet Wale who also made it to the finals.
Japan’s Ryuji Miura, 19, produced a national record timing of 8:09.92 to make it to the final, and he will have the support of the entire host nation to help challenge for medals.
Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, the 2017 world champion silver medallist in London and the bronze medalist in the championships in Doha also qualified for the finals. The 25 year old, goes to the finals with a personal best of 7:58.15 that he set in 2018 in Monaco.