Junior women's winner Letesenbet Gidey at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Guiyang 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Cali, Colombia

Girls' 3000m preview – IAAF World Youth Championships Cali 2015

Historically, this race has been dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians and the distance-running superpowers are each sending two athletes of considerable quality to Cali, so it will come as a major shock if the title doesn’t make its way back to East Africa once again.

In what looks a relatively open race, perhaps it’s best to start with world junior cross-country champion Letesenbet Gidey, who led an Ethiopian 1-2-3 in Guiyang earlier this year.

Gidey’s official personal best over 3000m is a relatively pedestrian 9:35.71, but the 17-year-old’s performances at cross country signal an athlete of the highest calibre and she will be looking to demonstrate that ability on the track.

She will be joined on the start line in Cali by team-mate Shuru Bulo, who was a runner-up at the African Junior Championships in Addis Ababa in March.

Kenya’s team is led by Emily Chebet, who impressively won her national junior championships last month in Nairobi with a 9:08.8 clocking. Finishing second that day, three seconds behind, was Sheila Chelangat, who will also hope to be among the medals in Cali.

The fastest youth in the world this year is Japan’s Yuka Mukai, who ran 9:04.81 to win in Izumo last month and she will be hoping to break the African stranglehold of success when the gun fires on Wednesday night (15).

Mukai is joined in Cali by team-mate Kanami Sagayama, who ran 9:13.6 in Japan last month.

Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF