NAIROBI, Kenya – As Dominic Samson Ndigithi surged home to win a historic medal for Kenya, two instances of dramatic excitement were witnessed at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
On the stands, his role model Nyandika Maiyoro pumped his fists in the air just as Ndigithi crossed the line to bag the 10,000m walking Race bronze medal at the Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Under 18 (WU18) Championships on Saturday.
Down on the blue tartan track, Ndigithi also did a celebratory jig of his own as he punched the air with delight, cheered on by the crowd that had braved the cold Nairobi morning to witness the occasion.
Ndigithi, a student at Kiendege Secondary School in Nyamira County was beaten to the top medals by gold winner, Yao Zhang of China who posted a World U18 leading time of 41:12:01 as Russian Salavat Ilkaev (41:24.17) took the silver.
The Kenyan was rewarded with a lifetime best of 41:25.78 for the third medal to leave his hero gushing about the success.
“That will go down as my moment of the championships,” said Maiyoro.
“We have never won a medal in this category at the world stage. This makes everything special. I wish the young man a lot of success because his career has taken off,” the first Kenyan to compete at the Olympics added in his tribute.
“I used a lot of energy because I didn’t have a teammate to pace with. That made me slowdown in the last lap because the energy went down.
“I’m happy I delivered the bronze medal for my country,” Ndigithi added.
The most decorated Kenyan male Race walker, David Kimutai medalled at the All Africa Games and African championships but never at the world stage.