Kenya continued its stance atop the medal count at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing Wednesday night, this time in the men’s javelin – another sport not traditionally associated with the distance-running power – and the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Julius Yego threw a personal-best 92.72 meters on his third attempt in the javelin win, and Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi ran the steeplechase in 9:19.11 for their nation’s fifth and sixth golds of the event and 10th and 11th medals overall. The Commonwealth Games champion Yego was fourth at the event two years ago in Moscow, where Jepkemoi finished sixth.
“I dreamed of this,” said Yego, who became the first Kenyan to win a field event in the World Championships. “It was really good for me before this Championship. I planned to be the world champion. Javelin is a talent in me. I could run, but not as fast as other Kenyans, javelin was the sport I loved.”
It was also a landmark day for another African nation, Egypt, which captured the silver medal in the javelin when Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed threw 88.99 meters. It was the first-ever medal for Egypt, having a previous best of sixth in the discus in 2007 from Omar El-Ghazaly.
“I’m happy, I can say it was crazy because it was the first medal for my country,” El Sayed said. “There was no track and field in my country, only football. I threw a mark in my first competition and I won (how he began throwing). Now in Egypt, there are many places to do track and field in Egypt.”
Tero Pitkamaki of Finland won bronze at 87.64 meters to join his 2007 gold, 2013 silver and 2008 Olympic bronze at the same stadium. Thomas Ruller of Germany was fourth, defending Olympic bronze medalist and European champion Antti Ruuskanen of Finland fifth, Andreas Hofmann of Germany sixth, Johannes Vetter of Germany seventh, and London Olympic gold medalist Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic eighth.
“I’m satisfied for a bronze medal,” Pitkamaki said. “It was maybe the best competition of my career. I’m satisfied for my throws today. I have the complete medal set, gold, silver and bronze.”
Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia won the silver medal in the women’s steeplechase at 9:19.24, equaling her result from the 2011 Daegu Championships, and Gesa Felicitas Krause of Germany won bronze in 9:19.25. Defending world and Olympic bronze medalist Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia was fourth, Emma Coburn of the U.S. fifth, Ethiopian Hiwot Ayalew sixth, Kenyan Virginia Nyambura Nganga seventh, and Lalita Shivaji Babar of India eighth. Americans Stephanie Garcia and Colleen Quigley finished ninth and 12th.