Kahsay confidence takes the Ethiopian teenager into new territory

Meresa KahsayDonetsk, Ukraine – There was little to suggest that Meresa Kahsay would emerge as the 2000 m Steeplechase champion in Donetsk but he arrived in the Ukrainian city fully confident that he could not only take the gold medal but also go into new territory for a boy.

In the end, Kahsay became the first youth boy to break the 5:20 barrier when he crossed the line in 5:19.99, barely 10 seconds away from the senior world best of 5:10.68 run by France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad in 2010.

He improved on the former World youth best of 5:21.36 held by Morocco’s Nabil Ouhaddi since 2006 and the championship record of 5:24.69 run by Kenya’s Abel Mutai at the 2005 edition.

It also meant that, perhaps surprisingly considering the domination of the Kenyan men in the Steeplechase, that Ethiopia now is in possession of both the boys’ and girls’ World youth best performances, his compatriot Korahubsh Itaa having won the girls’ 2009 World youth title in a still-standing best of 6:11.83.

A super-fast time in Donetsk was on the cards from the half waypoint which was passed in 2:39.90, with Kenya’s Nicholas Kiptonui Bett leading the way from Kahsay and another Kenyan, Justus Kipkorir Lagat. Read more

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