Six days after winning the San Francisco seven-mile race in the United States, Linet Chepkurui on Friday claimed the 10,000m women’s title in style at the Kenya Armed Forces Athletics Championships at Moi International Sports Complex, Kasarani in Nairobi. Barnabas Kosgei won the men’s 10,000m race.
Braving a hamstring injury she sustained last December, the 20-year-old Chepkurui sped with big strides in the last 400 metres to beat a strong challenge from Irene Kwambai, who was neck and neck with her in the entire race.
Chepkurui, doubtful to compete at the 26-28 June pre-Olympic Games trials in Nairobi due to the injury, was timed 35:35.5 with Kwambai second after returning on 35:38.1. Peninah Arusei was third in 35:43.0 followed by Monica Otwori (35:51.6), Winfred Kwamboka (36:04.0) and Sharon Chemutai (36:12.8).
After the race, Chepkurui said: “Although the race was slow, it was very tough particularly I got so much pressure from Arusei and Kwamboka. I also feared attacking because of this injury, but I am happy for the victory.”
The men’s race was more competitive and faster, with Kosgei exchanging the lead with Kimutai Kiplimo and John Korir who led briefly with 3 laps to go, but Kosgei finished strongly from the last bend to clock 28:25.8. Korir, a former Kenya 10,000m national champion, posted 2 8 :27.2 with Kiplimo settling for third spot in 28:29.4.
Erick Kimutai cleared 7.37m to take the men’s long jump record with Jacinta Awuor emerging the winner of the women’s hammer event with 39.35m throw. She set a new Armed Forces record (39.35m), smashing the 36.85 old mark.
The two-day championship, one of the most entertaining and competitive track and field event in the Athletics Kenya (AK) calendar, ends on Saturday.
Over 100 athletes will be selected from the event to represent the Armed Forces at the 26-28 National-cum-Olympic trials and next month’s East Africa Military Games in Kampala, Uganda.
Selected results (Day One):
100m men Heat 1: Kipkemoi Soi (10.3), Stephen Okach (10.7), Japhet Baya (10.9) Heat 2: To m Musinde(10.3), Levi Wasike(10.5), Boaz Rotich(10.8). Heat 3: Jackson Mwaura(10.6), Morris Muthoka(10.8). Heat 4: Jared Onchiri(10.7), Geoffrey Rotich(10.9).
100m women: Heat 1 Susan Nyarunda(12.6), Ann Mwaniki(13.0) Heat 2: Ann Karauni(12.8), Franciska Kitaka(13.2) Georgina Mbinya(13.2).Heat 3: Gladys Thiongo(12.9), Prisillah Isiao(13.2).
200m men-Heat 1: Jackson Mwaura (21.4), Jared Onchiri(21.6), Lewis Wachira(21.8) .
Heat 2: Tom Musinde(21.4), Vincent Mumo ( 21.6), Pius Kipngetich (21.7).
400m (hurdles) men: Heat 1:Sylvester Muteti (52.0), Mike Rop (53.3), Heat 2:Julius Bungei (51.3), We ldon Ngeno(53.5).Heat 3:Moses Malakwen (52.2), Amon Chepsongol (53.1). Panapress.