By FEVERPITCH REPORTER
Kenyaâs long distance production line brought a new prodigy on the scene as Ann Wabera clocked 35:35.3 to win the womenâs 10,000m race during the seventh and final National Bank Athletics Kenya track and field meeting at Kinoru Stadium in Meru.
Helen Nzembi took second spot in 36:23.2 with Purity Kajuju third in 39:13.5. Wabera ran a tactical race, sticking with the leaders for the better part of it before storming to the front with three laps to go.
Elizabeth Wambue (39:37.0) and Doreen Kendi (39:51.0) placed fourth and fifth respectively in the race while Florence Nkirote finished sixth in 44:05.5.
Peter Mwololo won the menâs 10,000m in 29:13.1 with James Muriithi placing second in 30:07.6 and Mark Macharia settling for third and credited with a time of 30:32.4. Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist Mercy Njoroge clocked 4:28.2 minutes to win the womenâs 1,500m race.
Njoroge ran in front throughout the race and won easily ahead of Jedidah Wanjiru, who was timed at 4:29.2 and youngster Nancy Kithure from Eastern confirmed the locals are represented as she held on to claim the third spot on the podium in 4:31.7.
One of Kenyaâs top sprinters Joyce Kidake was victorious in womenâs 400m where she recorded an impressive 56.3 seconds. Kidake beat her closest opponent Sharon Wafula to second place in 57.2 seconds with Jacinta Shikanda coming in third after 68.3 seconds.
Mary Ndunge scooped the womenâs 400m hurdles title after returning 66.2 seconds ahead of Jacinta Shikanda (67.7) and Jentrix Nelima (70.0 sec) who were placed second and third positions.
Qualify for finals
The menâs 800m saw veteran Geoffrey Rono win his heat in 1:51.2. Daniel Masai was second in 1:54.4 while Moses Mathenge (1:59.9) and Mathew Korir (1:59.2) took third and fourth places respectively to qualify for todayâs final.
David Too took the second heat in a much faster time of 1:590.6 ahead of Michael Kinuthia, who clocked 1:50.9 and Jeremiah Kinuthia who was timed at 1:51.4. Robert Maritim squeezed to fourth place to sail through to todayâs final.
Athletics Kenya Eastern Branch chairman Joseph Kinyua, said the region has continued to expose new talent and is fast catching up with their rivals from North and South Rift especially in the middle and long distance races.