World Championships: Leonard Chemutai Seeks To Stun 3000m SC Field

Ugandan Athletes in Action on Tuesday:
•Leonard Chemutai – Men’s 3000m SC Final, 10:42pm
•Tom Drariga – Men’s 800m Heats, 8:20pm

Leonard Chemutai will be hoping to win a medal on Tuesday in the Men’s 3000m Steeplechase final at the ongoing 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Chemutai, however, is a huge outsider to finish in the medal bracket given the quality of the field and his inexperience to start with.

Granted, he will have to put up his best ever performance and hope for the best on the night.

Chemutai qualified through the heats with a time of 8:24.74, finishing fifth in Heat Two on his debut at this stage.

He has ever won a medal for Uganda, gold to be specific, in June this year at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Australia.

And his name-sake, Peruth Chemutai, won the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Chemutai in a classy field:

Ethiopian Lamecha Girma is a big favourite here, and made an early statement of intent having qualified with a fastest time of 8:15.89.

This is one title that has been elusive in his career having finished second in 2019 Doha and 2022 Oregon.

But the fact that no Ethiopian has ever won this event at the World Championships, Girma will also be up against history.

He will face stiff competition from Olympic and defending world champion Soufiane El Bakkali, Kenyans Abraham Kibiwott, Simon Koech and Leonard Bett, Kenneth Rooks from the United States, Japan’s youngster Ryuji Miura among others.

Tom Drariga will be in action earlier in Heat Two of the Men’s 800m.

The first three from each heat plus the three fastest times across all heats will qualify for the semifinals.

Joshua Cheptegei won 10,000m Gold on Sunday, Uganda’s only medal in Budapest so far.



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