Ng’eny announces self to world stage in style
Athletics Kenya’s Tokyo Olympics pre-trials ended on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium with the men’s 800m stealing the show.
Three athletes attained Tokyo Games qualification time with the winner Elias Ng’eny doing so in World leading time.
The trio of Ng’eny, Hillary Biwott and Noah Kibet secured the Olympic qualifying standard of 1:45.20 in the two-lap race.
Ng’eny won the race in a world leading time of 1:43.84 as Biwott crossed the finish line in 1:44.80 to finish second while Kibet was third in 1:45.11.
Training alongside Commonwealth 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal at the Global Sports Communication, Ngeny said he was inspired by his training mate’s heroics at the Doha Diamond League on Friday night.
Kinyamal won the race with a world leading 1:43.91 on Friday night with Ngeny smashing it on Saturday afternoon.
“After Kinyamal posted a world lead on Friday I expected I would post something close to that mark.
I am expecting to represent my country at the Olympics but I know it will be tough,” said Ng’eny who is yet to make his maiden appearance in Kenyan colours.
Before the main trials set for June 17-19, Ng’eny intends to do work on a few areas.
“I will need to put emphasis on my endurance before the trials, which everyone expects to be very tough,” said Ngeny.
The 800m men’s show excited national athletics head coach Julius Kirwa who said the emergency of new stars will make the trials competitive.
“We are not doing well on both the men’s and women’s 800m. We have not had athletes who have come close to what David Rudisha achieved that is why I say we have a problem in the event.
However, with emerging talents, we should continue to guide them well,” said Kirwa.
There was disappointment for national 400m champion Mary Moraa who fell almost two seconds shy of attaining the Tokyo qualifying mark of 1:59.50 when she ran an impressive 2:01.12, a new personal best.
“This was my fourth time racing in the 400m and I am happy I am edging closer to qualification.
I however still have a lot to do before the qualification window closes on June 29. It is also somewhat difficult to qualify here in Kenya and if I could get some races abroad then I think I can make it,” said Moraa who hopes to join 2013 world champion Eunice Sum, Emily Cherotich and Faith Chepng’etich as the only other athletes who have met the Tokyo times.