Kenya disappoints at 3000m indoor championships

Ethiopia dominated the race winning gold and bronze

BELGRADE, SERBIA - MARCH 18: Gold medalist Lemlem Hailu of Ethiopia (C), Silver medalist Elle Purrier St. Pierre of the USA (L) and Bronze medalist Ejgayehu Taye of Ethiopia (R) pose for a picture after victory in the Women's 3000m during day one of the World Athletics Indoor Championships at the Belgrade Arena on March 18, 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Kenya's 3000m representatives at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia finished in position 10 and 14 after a dismal performance on Friday, March 18.

Ethiopia has enjoyed astonishing dominance in this event over the past two decades, winning eight of the past nine women’s 3000m titles.

This good run of form has continued to nine wins out of the ten after Lemlem Hailu won the 3,000m in 8:41.82. Elle Purrier St. Pierre of the U.S. won silver in 8:42.04 and Ejgayehu Taye of Ethiopia won bronze (8:42.23).

With a large field of 20 toeing the line for the straight final, there was unsurprisingly many clipped heels during a cagey opening kilometre.

With Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum taking over from Canada’s Gabriela Debues-Stafford on the fifth lap and passing 1000m in a relatively pedestrian 3:03.31.

Her teammate, Taye, took over at the halfway stage, towing the bunched field through 2000m in 5:59.09. Slowly but surely, the gears began to shift among the main contenders, with Hailu hitting the front with three laps to run.

At the bell, Seyaum surged up to Hailu’s shoulder, but the 20-year-old Hailu quickly responded.

Purrier St Pierre, who’d sat buried in the leading pack for much of the race, then unleashed her surge with 150 metres to run, overtaking Taye for second and doing her best to chase down Hailu.

However, she couldn’t get to her, the US athlete having to settle for silver as Hailu sealed a memorable win, her first global medal as a senior athlete.

Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet fought brilliantly in the first half but ran out of gas in the second, finishing a distant 10th in 8:47.50 while Edinah Jebitok (8:53.25) wound up 14th.

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