By Oscar Pilipili
Kenneth Kipkemoi won the 10,000m event as Olympics and World Indoor 800m champion Pamela Jelimo ruled the roost in the 400m race during national athletics championships at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Kipkemoi, a novice from Nairobi, went into the race well aware that the outcome of the race will only earn him national champion title as Kenya had already settled on athletes to participate in the race at African Championships in Benin and 2012 London Olympics.
But the runner from Athletics Kenya Nairobi branch was not discouraged as he did his best to win the race in 27 minutes 49.53.
Kipkemoi said: “I knew African Championships and Olympic Games teams have already been selected and my intention was to win the race and become national champion.”
Kipkemoi ran from behind and broke away from leading pack with eight laps to the finish and on bell he had opened a huge gap with his closest challenger (Lewis Mosot) to comfortably win the race.
Mosot of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) crossed the line in second position timed at 27:53.94 followed by Mathew Kisorio, who clocked 28:05.60.
In sprints, Jelimo expressed interest in defending the 800m title at 2012 London Olympics immediately she won her heat in 400m semi-final.
Jelimo clocked 53.3 to win 400m heat two and qualify for the finals Friday.
She said: “I’m using National Championships as build-up event to the Olympics. The 400m race is my event but I’m using it to improve my speed as I prepare for the Olympics Trials.”
Jelimo said there is need to improve her speed to help her contain Ethiopians who are threateningly coming up very fast.
“I don’t fear any opponent. I’ll run in 800m race at the trials and hope to qualifying to Olympic,” she said.