Kenyans jet back home from Serbia with only two medals

Noah Kibet and Amos Kipsang won silver and bronze respectively

Bronze medallist Kenya's Abel Kipsang poses during the podium ceremony of the men's 1500 metres final during The World Athletics Indoor Championships 2022 at the Stark Arena, in Belgrade, on March 20, 2022. (Photo by PEDJA MILOSAVLJEVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenya failed to impress at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia as unconvincing performances resulted in just two medals; a silver and bronze.

From the three day competition held from Friday, March 18 to Sunday, March 20, Noah Kibet claimed a silver medal in the 800 metres on Saturday while Abel Kipsang finished third in the 1,500m to come win his first medal at the global stage.

All eyes on the track had earlier been set on Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who had set an indoor 1500m world record in Lievin, France last month.

But Ethiopian Samuel Tefera had other ideas and batted off the mighty challenge of Norway’s Olympic gold medallist with a championship record of 3:32.77 for the win.

The Norwegian led for most of the race until Tefera made his move on the final bend, drawing equal with and then motoring past the Norwegian, who had no kick left in him to respond.

Kipsang had hit the front first in traditional fashion but allowed Ingebrigtsen to squeeze through, Tefera bidding his time to kick to gold.

“I like attacking from the front because I can’t survive if I stay at the back,” explained Kipsang, who led in 41.71 seconds at 300 metres.

“I’m used to front-running. I will now work on my speed and by the time the World Championship comes round, I will be ready,” concluded Kipsang who vowed to turn bronze to gold at July’s outdoor World Championships in Eugene, USA.

Kibet creates history

On Saturday, 17 year old Noah Kibet bagged a silver medal in the 800 metres. Kibet, a bronze medallist at last year’s World Under-20 Championships at Kasarani, finished behind Spain’s Mariano Garcia with USA’s Bryce Hoppel taking bronze.

The story of the race was defined by the tactics of Canada’s Marco Arop, who wound up eighth in 1:47.58, but who first took his rivals to a place of deep distress over the first three laps.

Arop ripped through the opening 200m in 23.97, hit 400m in 50.34 and, at that point, Sweden’s Andreas Kramer was closely following behind, with Garcia in turn moving on to his shoulder, having spent the previous lap circling the field.

At the end, it was the Spaniard who got there first, Garcia claiming his first major championships medal. In second, Kibet became the youngest ever track medallist in the championships’ history when winning silver at the age of 17.

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