Kenya: Hellen Obiri Lights Up Kasarani

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri brushed aside Eva Cherono in the last two laps to ease off to women 10,000m victory during the second leg of Athletics Kenya Track and Field Meeting at Kasarani on Saturday.

Cherono looked set to upset her 2019 World Cross Country Championships teammate, after a thrilling exchange of leads.

But Obiri, the 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, had a different script in the last two laps.

Obiri, the 2019 World Cross champion, pulled away from Cherono to win the race in 31 minutes and 24.7 second. Cherono settled second in 31:29.6.

Vicoty Chepng’eno clocked 31:42.9 for third place.

“Though the arena looked windy, the race was quite fine, being my first track race this year,” said Obiri, who recaptured her Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships title in January this year.

Obiri officially declared her intentions to double up in 10,000m and 5,000m come the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“It won’t be easy since I must have a strong mental framework. I will need to do a lot of speedwork in the next four months,” said Obiri.

Cherono was happy with second place in her debut over the distance.

“It is even more challenging facing a strong opponent like Obiri but I will embark on refining my speed to see if I will make it for Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000m event,” said Cherono.

In other races, Evangeline Makena and Stanley Kieti destroyed their respective fields to win the men and women’s 400m races.

Makena stopped the clock at 54.10 to triumph, beating Joan Cherono and Veronica Mutua in 54.32 and 54.59 respectively.

Kieti needed 46.94 to reign over Cleophas Kipruto and Joseph Phoghisio, who returned 47.15 and 47.28 respectively.

World 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich, Boaz Rugut and Elias Ngeny won their respective 800m races.

Rugut returned the fastest time over the two-lap race, clocking 1:45.9 to win.

Rotich clocked 1:46.39 to win the third semi while Ngeny timed 1:46.4 to claim the second semi.


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