ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Melkeneh Azize won the men’s 3000m final at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Colombia.
An extraordinarily quick opening lap of 57.72 seconds saw five athletes clear of the rest of the field in Cali.
Melkeneh, who followed a relatively suicidal pace from the outset (57.72 at 400m, 2:00.67 at 800m), was laid down by Uganda’s Dan Kibet.
The Ethiopian athlete was strong enough to last, powering away to win in 7:44.06.
Kenyan duo Felix Kiptarus Korir (7:47.86) and Edwin Kimosong Kisalsak (7:49.82) took silver and bronze.
Ugandan Kibet seemed to pay for his exuberance as he faded to finish seventh in 8:02.08.
Melkeneh described his win on Friday as “a huge honour”.
“I want to say congratulations to my country with this medal,” Melkeneh said.
“The race was great. All of Cali, the supporters in this stadium, I want to say thank you. This is a beautiful country,” he added
His gold 3000m medal adds to Ethiopia’s medal count at Cali to make it two Gold and three silver medals and one bronze.
Ethiopia now stands at Fourth place in the medal tally.
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