The war for athletics superiority has been declared after three Athletics Kenya Affiliates selected their marksmen and women for the titanic battle during the Safaricom AK National championships in a venue yet to be confirmed.
After Kenya Prisons Service, the last among the disciplined forces completed their selections that picked their front -runners for the national superiority contest last week, more fire work is being awaited from the Regional appendages.
Athletics Kenya Prison Service Boss Benjamin Njoga has already sent warnings to the dominative Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and Kenya Police Service (KPS) that his institution should not be underrated from now.
“We have a short and long term plan to revamp athletics in the Kenya Prisons Service. We are getting a lot of support from the Commissioner and within a short while our rivals will encounter an improved branch. This is our strategy,” said the second-in-command over his vision to move athletics to the next level.
During the two-day national competitions, new recruits proved their intentions to give the service a new lease and take over from the retired greats that made the corrective institution a force to be worthy laying plans to fight with during events ranging from 5,000metres to Marathon (42Km).
“We are coming back as a new force. Our past history rivet over the likes of Catherine Ndereva, Margaret Okayo, Susan Chepkemei, Edith Masai, Salina Kosgei, Christopher Kandie, Luke Kibet and Timothy Kiptoo. We have fresh blood,” added Stephen Mwaniki, a senior coach in the service.
The Prison Service would be counting on the experienced and quality talents being exhibited by former Commonwealth Games Champion Silas Kiplagat and versatile Sing’ore girl-bread Maurine Jelagat to gain mileage during the nationals where 16 AK branches must honour the competitions. Kiplagat and Jelagat were unbeatable in their events during the competitions.
The institution will also be counting on the services of new recruits which have brought new impetus to the force barely a month after they were contracted to the service.
Lucy Cheruiyot and Cornelius Kangogo displayed imperious shape in winning the 5,000metres finals with the former adding another title to her upcoming running career in the 10,000metres. The East Africa Secondary Schools Bronze winner clocked 32:35.4, relegating Nancy Kimaiyo (32:58.8) and Visiline Jepkesho (33:01.3) to second and third places.
On his part, Kangogo, asserted his authority in the twelve and half laps event by winning in a new Prison record. He clocked superior 13:31.2, erasing the previous mark of 13:38.0 registered by Africa Cross-country champion Timothy Kiptoo.
In other results, World relay Silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot and new horn Joash Kiplimo booked their tickets for the National Championships after winning 1,500metres and 3,000m steeplechase timing 3:36.7 (New Prisons record) and 8:30.3 respectively.
During the opening day on Friday, Caroline Waiganjo clicked double victory after winning 100metre hurdles women final in 14.5 and Long Jump in 5.69metres. Veteran Florence Wasike was disallowed after a false start. Another veteran Cecilia Kiplagat won women Discus, throwing the plate 38.93m.
Attempts by marathoners Luke Kibet (Osaka 2007 Champion) and Mark Korir, who has been named in the provisional marathon team to Beijing this year, to make the national squad did not materialized after they failed to finish the 10,000metres where David Tarus, Geoffrey Korir and Wilson Kiprotich swept the podium in that order.
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