American Tre’tez Kinnaird (Indiana) is surprisingly the fastest qualifier for the boys 800 final at World Juniors

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By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom, with additions by LetsRun.com
(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Perhaps the biggest surprise of day five at the 2014 IAAF World Junior track and field competition came in the men’s 800m semi-finals, where American

Tre'tez Kinnaird ahd plenty to talk about after this one

Tre’tez Kinnaird hsd plenty to talk about after this one

was the fastest of all qualifiers. Leading heat three from start to finish, Kinnaird claimed victory in 1:48.04.

“It felt amazing. We didn’t go out that hard so I knew, since I’ve been running from the front all year, I knew that I could manage the pace that was comfortable for me. It was like I could play it in my hands,” said Kinnaird, who attends Indiana University, where he ran 1:47.99 this year and was the Big 10 runner-up outdoors (but failed to make it to NCAAs in Eugene)

Splitting 400 meters in 53.86, Kinnaird expected to be challenged down the stretch.

“I was waiting for those guys to come up and I was like, ‘Uh oh, I’m going to have to save up for this kick’ because they will be kicking like crazy,” said the 19-year-old. “But I held my own and I’m very satisfied with it and I’m really looking forward towards the final.”

By advancing, Kinnaird keeps America’s hopes for a medal in the discipline alive. At the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships, the USA claimed silver (Casimir Loxsom) and bronze (Robby Andrews).

Kenyans Alfred Kipketer and Joshua Tiampati Masikonde won the first and second heats in 1:48.67 and 1:48.09, respectively. Executing similar strategies, both went right to the lead and never relinquished it.

After battling with Ethiopian Jena Umar for most of the final lap, Kipketer flailed his arms wildly coming down the homestretch. While Kipketer went on to win, Umar faded ever so slightly just as Great Britain’s Kyle Langford was charging hard. A lean gave Langford second in 1:48.76, with Umar third in 1:48.81.

“I am improving my time day and day, and today I think it was tough, not perfect, a little tired,” Kipketer, last year’s World Youth champion, told Race Results Weekly. “But I am ready for a tough final race. It will be a challenge.”

Shortly after the finish, Langford could be seen grabbing his hamstring, visibly in pain. It was confirmed to Race Results Weekly that Langford suffered what was described as a slight niggle, though should be good to go for tomorrow’s final.

Running well within himself in heat two was Masikonde, leading through 400 meters in 53.94. Not until 100 meters remained did Masikonde open his stride, his lanky arms and legs pumping fast and furious.

Across the line in 1:48.09, Masikonde finished ahead of Sweden’s Andreas Almgren (1:48.87).

Tomorrow, in the final day of these championships, finals in the men’s 800m and 3000m steeplechase, as well as the women’s 1500m, will be contested.

An interview appears with Kinnaird appears below which is followed by heat by heat results.

More: Re-live Kikpeter’s amazing world youth win from last year.

Kinnaird Talks After His Race:

Heat 1

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
Details 1 972 Alfred Kipketer KENKEN 1:48.67 Q
Details 2 661 Kyle Langford GBRGBR 1:48.76 Q
Details 3 565 Jena Umar ETHETH 1:48.81 q
Details 4 1096 Tony van Diepen NEDNED 1:50.86
Details 5 1225 Andres Gonzalez PURPUR 1:51.53
Details 6 246 Aurele Vandeputte BELBEL 1:51.57
Details 7 192 Dominik Stadlmann AUTAUT 1:52.73
Details 8 152 Luke Mathews AUSAUS 1:55.92
Splits: 400m 54.36 Alfred Kipketer KENYA KEN
Heat 2
POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
Details 1 979 Joshua Tiampati Masikonde KENKEN 1:48.09 Q
Details 2 1383 Andreas Almgren SWESWE 1:48.87 Q
Details 3 609 Nasredine Khatir FRAFRA 1:49.79
Details 4 807 Karl Griffin IRLIRL 1:49.97
Details 5 1333 Lucijan Zalokar SLOSLO 1:50.06
Details 6 259 Yan Sloma BLRBLR 1:50.19
Details 7 532 Axel Vives ESPESP 1:50.81
Details 8 641 Theo Blundell GBRGBR 1:51.12
Split: 400m 53.94Joshua Tiampati Masikonde KENYA KEN

Heat 3

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
Details 1 1543 Tre’tez Kinnaird USAUSA 1:48.04 Q
Details 2 277 Thiago Andrè BRABRA 1:48.16 Q
Details 3 1385 Kalle Berglund SWESWE 1:48.57 q PB
Details 4 190 Nikolaus Franzmair AUTAUT 1:48.94
Details 5 856 Enrico Riccobon ITAITA 1:49.40
Details 6 104 Takieddine Hedeilli ALGALG 1:51.28
Details 7 562 Mamush Lencha ETHETH 1:51.41
Details 1300 Konstantin Tolokonnikov RUSRUS DNF
Split: 400mb53.86 Tre’tez Kinnaird UNITED STATES USA

 


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