Olympics: Mixed results for Team Kenya in morning session

Team Kenya have once again disappointed at the global stage.

CHOFU, JAPAN - JULY 30: Abi Burton of Team Great Britain runs with the ball in the Women’s pool A match between Team Great Britain and Team Kenya during the Rugby Sevens on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 30, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Athletes; Eunice Sum, Emily Tuwei and Leonard Bett will jet back to the country with their tails in between their legs after dismall performances in the 800m and 3000m steeplechase heats respectively.

800m

Overall team Captain Sum, missed out of the semis after finishing sixth her heat in a time of 2:03.00 in what was her third appearance at the Olympic Games.

Sum could not sustain the final kicking power after looking to be on course for a fight at the last lap. She fell off the pack in the last 200m in a race won by Jamaica’s Natoya Goule who finished in 1:59.83.

Benin’s Noelie Yarigo was second while Norway’s Hedda Hynne picking the last automatic qualification slot from the heat.

Kenya’s other representative, Emily Tuwei Cherotich, finished last in her 800m heat. Cherotich came home in a disappointing 2:08.08, nine seconds behind eventual winner Jemma Reekie from Great Britian.

Mary Moraa will be Kenya’s only hope of a medal in the 800m after earning automatic qualification from the heats, finishing third in a time of 2:01.66. Moraa showed intent from the gun, taking the lead for the first 400m.

However, she found herself boxed to the inside lane throughout the final 400, but managed to slide out in the final 200m and put up a powerful sprint in the final 50m to squeeze through in third.

3000m steeplechase

The steeplechase heats was the first men’s action on the track and they started impressively in what has been referred to as a very fast track for distance runners.

However, Kenyan trials winner and World U20 silver medalist Leonard Bett was a casualty in the big sprint finish for places as his 8:19.62 fifth place means Kenya will unusually only have two finalists.

Kenyan duo Benjamin Kigen and Abraham Kibiwott secured their slots in the men’s 3000m steeplechase final.

Kibiwott stormed to victory in the second heat when he clocked 8:12.25 ahead of Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale who finished in 8:12.55 as Ahmed Abdelwahed of Italy who placed third in 8:12.17

Kigen was third in the first heat after clocking a season best of 8:10.80 in a race won by Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia (8:09.83)

The final will be held on Monday August 2, and will have a new champion as title holder Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya did not qualify for the Games.

Kenya Lionesses

Just like their male compatriots (Simbas), Kenya Lionesses were knocked out of the competition after losing to Great Britain 31-0 at the Tokyo National Stadium.

The Lionesses needed to win the match to stand a chance of squeezing into the quarter-final as one of the best two third placed teams having lost their opening two games, but they couldn’t get a try past the Britons who stormed into the last eight.

Team GB ran in five tries, three of which were successfully converted as they completely outplayed the Kenyans.

Jasmine Joyce made Kenya pay for kicking to her in the second minute as she span away from two defenders to score in the left corner. Abi Burton added a second from close range before Joyce completed her brace on the stroke of half-time.

Kenya remained committed in the second half, but Great Britain made sure of victory with tries from Megan Jones and Lisa Thomson.

The Lionesses will now play hosts Japan later today to determine which team challenges for between ninth position.

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