Kimunyan, Jepchirchir emerge top in Eldoret
Africa Games 5,000m bronze medalist Richard Kimunyan and upstart Dorcas Jepchirchir won their respective 10,000m races in the first Athletics Kenya (AK) Track and Field meeting in Eldoret.
Kimunyan stormed to victory as he focuses for the Olympic Games and Africa Championships this season.
He edged out former Discovery Kenya champion Josephat Kipchirchir in micro-seconds for the title. An athlete from Torongo Training Camp in Baringo, Kimunyan clocked 30:29.3 with Kipchirchir a close second in 30:29.4 while Kennedy Kimutai placed third in 30:29.8.
“I have started well this season and I hope it will go all through to international competitions. I had an elaborate plan to stick behind and strike in the last lap. For me my main focus is the Olympics Games, I will compete in either 5,000m or 10,000m,” said Kimunyan.
In the women’s race, 10,000m Jepchirchir, who edged out top runners, to register her maiden win over the distance said the race was tough but maintained his speed to win.
“The race was not easy looking at the classy start list though I manage to register my maiden win on track,” said Jepchirchir.
With many athletes yearning for Olympic Games and Africa Senior Athletics championships, Jepchirchir said she is not ready for the two championships because she is competing on track for the first time.
“On the Olympics or Africa Games, I am not sure of running because I am good in road races unlike track. So I am looking forward to getting advice from my management,” added Jepchirchir.
She clocked 36:09.0 ahead of Emily Chebet who timed 36:17.5 and Mary Chepkirui (37:33.5) for podium positions.
Hurdlers Maureen Jelagat and William Mbevi won the respective women’s and men’s. Jelagat won in 64.5 ahead of Brigid Jelagat of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in 66.1. Mbevi won in 53.0 ahead of Stephen Rotich (54.4) and Patrick Muindi (55.1).
On the second day of the event, Grace Thuithi and Dominic Ndigiti won the 10,000m race walk. Thuithi won in 55:00.4 beating Naomi Jepkirui to second in 57:51.0 and Sylvia Kemboi (62:00.3).
Ndigiti won the men’s race in a time of 45:27.4 ahead of Erick Shikuku (47:23.6) and Nehemiah Kiprono (47:36.6).
Qualine Kiprop stunned former world 800m champion Eunice Sum to win the 1,500m title. Kiprop from Torongo defeated Kenya Police’s Sum timing 4:20.3 and 4:20.8 respectively before Jarinter Mawia for podium positions in 4:26.2.
After qualifying for the Africa Cross country championships, Abe Kipsang won the men’s 1,500m title in 3:44.3 ahead Evans Keitany (3:46.9) and Emmanuel Kipngetich (3:47.4).
World junior cross country winner Beatrice Chebet and former world junior 2,000m steeplechase champion Sandra Chebet dominated 5,000m with Beatrice winning ahead of Sandra in 15:57.4 and 15:59.9 while world U18 800m silver medalist completing the podium in 16:11.4.
Ferdinand Omanyala won a double in the sprints. He won the 100m in 10.04 ahead of Hesbon Ochieng (10.7) and Moses Wasike in third (11.1). In 200m, he clocked 20.07 with Daniel Kiviasi (20.8) and Ochieng (21.0).
Maximilla Imali (11.07) won the 100m title beating Monica Sephania (11.9) and Eunice Kedogo in third (12.3) as Milicent Ndoro was the winner in 24.2 away from Kedogo (24.4) and Sephania in 24.06.
Hellen Syombua won the 400m in 54.2 ahead of Veronica Mutua (54.9) and Gladys Musyoki (55.2).
After missing out at the world championships following the anti-doping rules regulations, Robert Kiprop and Daniel Simiyu faced off again with Kiprop winning the 5,000m in 14:02.3 ahead of Newton Kipkirui (14:06.7) and Simiyu (14:15.2).