The world under-20 championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland produced some incredible moments in the distance events. First, it was a Kenyan runner diving across the line to win the men’s 1,500m. Then the next wowing performance happened when an Ethiopian won bronze after falling twice in the same race.
Getnet Wale finished third in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, which involves hurdling four barriers and one water pit per lap. The Ethiopian first fell after clearing the water jumps at the 6:53 mark of the race and again at the 7:59 point. Though the falls look identical, both occur on the final two laps.
Wale was able to recover on both instances and sprinted to a bronze medal in 8:22.83. Amos Kirui of Kenya was first in 8:20.43 and Eritrea’s Yemane Haileselassie was second in 8:22.67. The Kenyan (Vincent Kipyegon Ruto) who was in second for much of the final straightaway faded to fourth.
The steeplechase often produces some of athletics’ most exciting moments as athletes fight late-race fatigue in hurdling over barriers. Their shoes are often vented to allow water from the pit to escape.
The world under-20 championships were previously known as the world junior championships. The 2016 edition featured athletes born on Jan. 1, 1997 or later. The championships ended on Sunday after beginning on July 24. In total, Canada won two bronze by Xahria Santiago in the women’s 400m hurdles and in the women’s 4x400m relay.
The men’s 3,000m steeplechase has historically been dominated by Kenyans at the championships. Kirui’s victory was the 15th consecutive time that a Kenyan has won the under-20 race.
Another notable meet performance
In the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, Canadian Charlotte Prouse finished an impressive sixth on Friday and set a new Canadian junior record. The University of Washington student-athlete ran 9:44.62, which is under the Canadian Olympic standard. The qualifying period for the Olympics ended in early July.