The quest to represent Kenya in the forthcoming global and continental championships started in Nakuru over the weekend with medals hunters launching their campaigns for the silverwares.
Reigning 800metres champion Eunice Sum, Diamond League 3,000metres steeplechase winner Jairus Birech and his 2011 1,500metres counterpart Nxon Chepseba started their season on the winning foot before the 3rd Safaricom Athletics Kenya weekend Meeting ended at Afuraha Stadium on Saturday.
Sum, who is also the Commonwealth Games champion, confirmed she has worked on her endurance after displacing seasoned 1,500metres favourite Viola Kibiwott during the finals of the middle distant event.
She won the 1,500metres in seasonal 4:09.7 after out-witting experienced Kibiwott and new comer Cicillia Maina who finished second and third in 4:11.4 and 4:15.6 during the competitions attended by high classed athletes.
“The race was not that easy. Anybody could be a winner here. I am encouraged by my endurance. I need now to work more on speed then I can decided if I can double in both 800 and 1,500metres. But it is still early to tell,” said Sum after the race.
For Kibiwott, who when the race as a junior in Kinston, Jamaica in 2002, the Nakuru race was a launching pad for the season and she expects to use the remaining build up series before sharpening up with the coming IAAF Diamond League beginning in Doha mid next month.
“I am looking forward to a good season. My training has been perfect and I will be participating in selected competitions before the national trial,” added the 1,500 and 5,000 metres specialist with a career spanning for more than 16 years.
In Men, Nixon Chepseba and Jairus Birech left their fans yarning for more after they engaged each other in a fierce battle in their unfamiliar 5,000metres. They duo employed all their training tricks to
wrestle the title with Chepseba, the 2011 Diamond League 1,500m winner, laughing with victory in 13:37.3.
Birech, a steeplechase per se, finished behind Chepseba in 13:38.4 while school boy Vedic Kipkoech, who received a standing ovation for keeping the stars on their toes through out the race with less experience, came third after stopping the timer in 13:42.3
The Nakuru Meeting did not disappoint as classified athletes that included multi-champion Ezekiel Kembo, never-aging Janeth Jepkosgei, Thomas Longosiwa, Daniel Salel, Iveen Kiyeng, Gladys Chemweno and Irene Birgen begun their competitive season by participating in selected events.
Click here to download full results
Media and Communications