Sheila Chepkirui and Daisy Cherotich put up a brilliant show to win their respective 5,000m races during the second leg of Athletics Kenya Track and Field Meeting at Kasarani.
But the men’s 100m semi-final was the show stopper late in the evening when national record holder Mark Otieno beat national champion Ferdinand Omanyala.
Otieno stopped the clock at 10.17 seconds as Omanyala eased off to second place in 10.32sec to set up yet another mouthwatering 100m final on Saturday.
Kapsabet’s Cherotich won with the fastest time of 15 minutes and 26.7 seconds at the Moi International Sports Centre, beating Beth Chepkemoi also from Kapsabet in 15:37.7.
Nakuru’s Naomi Chepng’eno romped home third in 15:42.5.
“I was hoping to run a sub 15 minutes but the windy track couldn’t permit that,” said Cherotich, who won the 10,000m race during the first leg on February 28 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
“The 5,000m isn’t my race. I am looking for speed to polish my act in 10,000m where I want to get a ticket for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Cherotich.
Running for the first time since finishing third at Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships in January, Chepkirui edged out the 2018 World Cross Country Championships Under-20 champion Beatrice Chebet in a sprint finish to win her heat in 15:29.8.
Chebet clocked 15:30.6 for second place and was followed by Mary Munanu in 15:52.2.
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“It’s not the time I wanted but it feels good to win. I still need to polish on my speed work going to the Olympics,” said Chepkirui, who is eying a place in the 5,000m for the Tokyo Games.
At the same time, Peter Mwaniki from Nanyuki, Makueni’s Alexander Mutiso and Emmanuel Kemboi claimed victories in their respective 10,000m races.
Mwaniki won with the fastest time in the first heat. He stopped the clock at 28:42.88 in the heat where Alfred Barkach from KDF settled second also with the second best time of 28:43.1.
Mutiso returned the third best time to claim the third heat in 28:50.15 as Edmond Kipng’etich from Kericho settled second in 29:03.02.
Kemboi’s time in the second heat of 29:12.99 was ranked ninth overall. Gilbert Kimunyan from Torongo crossed the line second in the heat in 29:14.29.
Dominic Tabunda from KDF hauled 57.27m to win the men’s hammer throw where compatriot Lucy Omondi’s 49.10m handed her victory in the women’s corresponding event.
Tera Langat from Prisons scaled 7.46m to reign in the men’s long jump.