LONDON, England- Gold was the colour he wanted. Gold was the colour he got. Elijah Motonei Manangoi upgraded his silver from Beijing 2015 to the top medal in London 2017 when he led the Kenyan 1-2 in the men 1500m final on Sunday night.
Manangoi, who turned 25 over the weekend bagged himself a belated birthday present in the most emphatic of fashions after fulfilling his promise to deliver the gold under pressure when he ran to the Promised Land in 3:33.61.
Manangoi charged past compatriot Timothy Cheruiyot who took charge of the race in the second lap before completing his monumental effort in 3:33.39 for silver, another huge upgrade having finished seventh in Beijing.
Three-time champion, Asbel Kiprop who was going for a record equalling fourth men 1500m title slipped back to ninth (3:37.56) as his reign that ran through Daegu 2011, Moscow 2013 and Bejing 2015 ended on the red tartan of the Olympic Stadium.
It will be quite a party at the Manangoi home after Motonei added the senior men 1500m title to the World Under 18 crown at the same distance won by younger brother, George Maitamei at Nairobi 2017 last month.
Having left the Team Kenya camp at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani to attend the homecoming party of his younger brother, senior Manangoi was fired up to deliver the crown he wanted most.
The last men’s individual final of what has been a riveting 10 days of these Championships got underway with Kiprop who was seeking to match the record of four successive world wins, running to the back of a field led by his compatriot Cheruyiot.
Coming up to the bell, three Kenyans lead the 1500m with Filip Ingebrigtsen of Norway who eventually took the bronze in 3:34.53 the only other runner interested in challenging for the medals.
Cheruiyot opened up his legs with Managoi and Kiprop behind him as they went to the back straight where the three-time winner started falling back as Ingebrigtsen, Adel Meshaal of Spain started pushing for the lead.
Into the home straight, Cheruiyot remained locked on the inside lane as Ingebrigtsen pushed beside him on the next but Manangoi, went outside, caught up and ran side by side with the leader before pulling away for glory.
Ingebrigtsen, displaying the guts that characterised his Norwegian compatriot Karsten Warholm’s 400m hurdles victory earlier this week was rewarded with the third medal.
The storming finish to London 2017 by Obiri who won the women 5000m minutes before the men 1500m and Manangoi took Kenya’s final tally to five gold, two silver and four bronze to finish second behind United States who won the overall title.
-Material from IAAF used to compile this report
MEN 1500m FINAL RESULTS
1 1140 Elijah Motonei MANANGOI KEN 3:33.61
2 1128 Timothy CHERUIYOT KEN 3:33.99
3 1210 Filip INGEBRIGTSEN NOR 3:34.53
4 874 Adel MECHAAL ESP 3:34.71
5 829 Jakub HOLUŠA CZE 3:34.89
6 737 Sadik MIKHOU BRN 3:35.81
7 1245 Marcin LEWANDOWSKI POL 3:36.02
8 1224 Nicholas WILLIS NZL 3:36.82
9 1134 Asbel KIPROP KEN 3:37.24
10 1396 John GREGOREK USA 3:37.56
11 1175 Fouad ELKAAM MAR 3:37.72
12 971 Chris O’HARE GBR 3:38.28