Three National Records were broken and one equaled as the three-day National athletics Championships came to an end on Saturday at the Safaricom National stadium, Kasarani in Nairobi.
The championships, which received the attention of some of the inexhaustible in the country, lived to expectations with wonder lady, the former double World Champion, Vivian Cheruiyot, World Cross-County Champion Geoffrey Kamworor and 1,500metre World Champ Asbel Kiprop dazzling their fans with unrivalled victories.
However, unexpected performance came from unlikely quarters where long-standing nationals records, set in 1980s, eased out and new marks certified with previous holders nodding, albeit grudgingly.
The friendly weather conditions gave impetus to fast-rising Mike Mokamba Nyang’au, Francisca Koki and Joyce Zakari to fire up to new national records in 100metres, 400metres hurdles and 400metres while Mathew Sawe leveled the High Jump mark.
Francisca set the tempo in her specialty when she bettered her previous mark from 55.84 to new 55.82 with house-hold name Rose Tata-Muya, who had owned the national record of 55.94 since 1987 witnessing the scenario.
“That lady has run. She deserves it. It is also a positive indication that we have been serious in the sprints and technical event. We need to see more of these,” said versatile Tata who chalked the previous record during the 4th All Africa Games at the same venue in 1987.
For Mokamba, it was the genetic running material in the family that drove the 22 years old Kenya Defence Forces officer and the son of veteran sprinter-com national starter Elkana Nyang’au to break Tom Musinde’s 8-years old 100metres mark from 10.26 to 10.23 with his father, also his coach, watching with pride.
The finals of 400metres women propelled on-form Joyce Zakari to erase Ruth Waithera’s 31-years old national record as the aging Waithera shrunk her shoulders grudgingly.
“Is it true?” she asked after watching the time displaying on the screen at the finish points. “Hiyo imekuwa mbali sana (that is a lot),” doubted Waithera of the 1984 record set during Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Canada.
Zakari, representing the Kenya Police Service, emblazoned the national record to 51.14, a whole 41 micro seconds from the previous 51.56. Earlier effort to inscribe new mark by Elizabeth Muthoka was nipped in the pad after sleazy discovery.
Florence Wasike’s 14.21 record set in 2010 also tumbled when Priscila Tabunda of Kenya Defense Forces timed 14.08 in the women’s 100metres hurdles on the day Kasarani witnessed the highest number of new turns in the timing.
On the first day of the championship, Mathew Sawe’s attempts to incarcerate Jacob Katonon’s height of 2.24 into the dusty bin of history stalled when he failed in the 3 tries to clear the crossbar. He equaled the mark which has been standing since 1992.
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