Gotytom Gebreslase, 3000m World youth champion (Getty Images)

Lille, France – In the first track final of the 7th IAAF World Youth Championships and the final event of the evening session Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslase scored a dramatic 3000m victory with the fastest time in the world this year to highlight the first day’s action in Lille.

The 16-year-old who set her previous best of 16:09.09 at high altitude in her capital city of Addis Ababa on 8 May produced a searing finish to outpace Ziporah Wanjiru Kingori of Kenya by 0.46 in a time of 8:56.36.

Both the gold and silver medallists and Kenya’s Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui who along with them ran the fastest time of her life of 8:58.63 produced a phenomenal last lap to catch Russia’s Alena Kudashkina.

The field set off very quickly with the Japanese pair of Katsuki Suga and Tomoka Kimura pushing it along for the first kilometre (2:58.83) on a Championship record schedule, but then it slowed dramatically.

That allowed the African contestants plus Kudashkina to close a 15 metre gap until Kudashkina who came to the venue with a PB of 9:13.79 galloped into the lead coming down the home straight and with two laps to run.

She astonishingly opened up a lead of around 25 metres and entering the last lap it seemed she would become the first non-African ever to lift the title. But the 17-year-old had no response when her rivals flew down the backstraight and coming onto the final bend passed her on the crown with Kingori in the driving seat from Gebreslase and a fading Kipkirui.

The Ethiopian then went into overdrive to come alongside her Kenyan rival in the last 20m and pip Kingori to become the first ever champion from her nation.



1. Gotytom Gebreselassie (Ethiopia) 8:56.36 (WYL)

2. Ziporah Wanjoru Kingori (Kenya) 8:56.82 (PB)

3. Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui (Kenya) 8:58.63 (PB)

4. Alena Kudashkina (Russia) 9:01.51 (PB)

5. Alemitu Heruy (Ethiopia) 9:04.53 (PB)

Ethiopia and Jamaica lead the medal table with 1 gold medal each.

Source: IAAF