The men’s steeplechase ended an era. With the exception of 1980, since 1968, Kenya has won at least one medal, and in all but 1980 won the gold in the Men’s steeplechase. Soufianne El Bakkali ended that winning streak.
In the 1,500m, Justin Lagat sees six Kenyan athletes battling for the positions in the finals as key to Kenyan athletic identity. This is a good piece by our senior writer in Kenya, who knows his fellow countrymen and women well.
After Kenyans just lost their dominance of the men’s 3000m steeplechase event, it now remains to be seen whether they will be shifting their dominance to a different event and whether this will likely be the men’s 800m or the 1500m.
For a Kenyan fan still awaiting to celebrate their first gold medal yet at the Games, there is some hope that a gold medal will be likely to come in the 1500m races for them given the high probability they have through Faith Kipyegon in the women’s and Timothy Cheruiyot in the men’s race. At least one of them should win the gold medal, if not both.
It looks more favorable mathematically, given that the probability of one of two independent events happening is a product of their two independent probabilities and is higher than it would be in just one event. But in reality, Kipyegon will be facing off with Sifan Hassan and other protagonists in the women’s race, while Cheruiyot will be tackling the main contenders in his own race.
Despite all of the six Kenyan runners proceeding to the semi-finals, they still need to work hard and smart to sail through to the finals.
The name of Faith Kipyegon, who ran the fastest time in the heats to proceed to the semi-finals, is already trending on Twitter as Kenyans express their faith in clinching a gold medal through her.
Her compatriot, Winny Chebet had finished 3rd in her heat to get the automatic qualification while the third Kenyan, Edinah Jebitok who fell down with Sifan Hassan managed to proceed to the semi-finals after a referee qualification.
Almost like in the women’s race, two of the Kenyan men; Cheruiyot who finished second in the first heat and Abel Kipsang who won the second heat earned their automatic qualifications. The third runner and the winner of the Kenyan trials managed to squeeze himself through to the semi-finals by becoming the slowest of the six fastest losers to qualify.