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World Junior Championships Wrap Up In Moncton

Final day of competition in the distance races doesn’t disappoint.

Written by: Chris Lotsbom
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

In what was arguably the most anticipated men’s race of the IAAF World Junior Championships, Kenyan David Mutinda Mutua didn’t disappoint the crowd at Stade de Moncton 2010 in the 800-meter final on Sunday.  The 18 year-old won a thrilling race in the final meters–outkicking a pair of Americans in the process–to give Kenya their seventh and final gold medal of the championships.

Mutua’s teammate, Dickson Kipsang Tuwei ,took the early pacing duties, towing the field of eight through 200 meters in 24.72 second, and 400 meters in 52.19. Right behind Tuwei was Casimir Loxsom and Robby Andrews, both of the United States, as well as Mutua, all waiting to make their move with 200 meters to go.

“When there was 110 meters left, my body woke up and I knew I could win the race,” said Mutua.

As Tuwei hit the final curve, Loxsom and Andrews kicked together, passing the exhausted Tuwei.  With only  50 meters remaining, Mutua seemed to be shot out of a cannon, overtaking both Loxsom and Andrews to finish in a personal best 1:46.41–the second fastest junior time of the year.

Behind him, Loxsom beat Andrews in a finish similar to the one that occurred at the U.S. Junior Championships last month in Des Moines, Iowa.  Loxsom clocked 1:46.57 for the silver medal, a personal best, while Andrews crossed in 1:47.00 for the bronze.

Following the race, Loxsom, the Penn State sophomore said: “I had the same game plan as yesterday. I sat on the Kenyan–man, he was strong at the end. I thought I had it. He snuck up on me.  I’m happy with silver.  I’m happy with two [American] medallists. It’s definitely a cool experience to be able to run around the track with another American [with the flag].”

The other men’s distance event of the afternoon was the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase.  Jonathan Muia Ndiku of Kenya controlled the race, taking the lead at the 1-kilometer mark from teammate Albert Kiptoo Yator.

With four laps remaining, the lead pack of four began to break up, and ultimately Ndiku ran away with the race, covering the final kilometer in 2:47.44.  Earning the gold in 8:23.48, Ndiku took his second-straight Junior Championship steeplechase title.

“Last time, I won in Bydgoszcz in 2008. I did well because I defended my title,” said Ndiku.  “This race is our culture. It’s a Kenyan race.”

Yator ultimately held on for silver in 8:33.55, while Uganda’s Jacob Araptany took bronze in 8:37.02.

The women’s 1,500 meters saw yet another African winner, but it was an Irish woman who took the spotlight by capturing the silver medal.  Ethiopia’s Tizita Bogale won the gold in a personal best of 4:08.06, but she had to earn it by out-kicking Ireland’s Ciara Mageean. Mageean made a move with one lap to go, coming into the picture for a potential upset.  But Bogale was just too strong, sprinting through the line first.   Mageean did run a national junior record of 4:09.51, giving Ireland their only medal at the championships.

“I’m so bloody happy,” said Mageean.  “I’m so proud.  I just wanted to do it for everyone back home.  And to finish with a national record, I’m thrilled.”

Nancy Chepkemoi of Kenya finished third in 4:11.04 and American Jordan Hasay placed fourth in 4:13.95. She had been the silver medalist in this event at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Ostrava in 2007.