Stars in police Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships meeting

By JONATHAN KOMEN

Sylvia Kibet (right) and Mercy Cherono during the last World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. They both line up at the Kenya Police Championships on Friday. [PHOTO: FILE / REUTERS]
World 1,500m silver medalist Sylvia Kibet and former Africa junior 1,500m silver medalist Nixon Chepseba will headline Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on Friday.

Olympic 800m champion and 2011 World Athlete of Year David Rudisha will, however, miss the action as he will compete at the third leg of IAAF Diamond League meeting in New York tomorrow.

World and Olympic 3,000m champion Ezekiel Kemboi, who has not competed this season, is also expected.

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But most police world-beating stars will skip the two-day event as they compete in tomorrow’s IAAF Diamond League meet in New York, or prepare for next fourth leg in Eugene, Oregon in USA.

Chepseba, who has fared on well in the Diamond League but missed out podium finish at the Olympics, keen to improve his pecking order, having lost it all when he was dropped in the Daegu team in 2011, competing in 800m.

“I have not performed well in championships and I hope this is my opportunity to do it and will use the police meet to gauge my speed ahead of the national trails,” said Chepseba, an alumnus of St Patrick’s High School Iten.

Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Abraham Kiplagat, who basks in a 1:43.7 all-time mark, longs to better his 1:47.3 time he posted at the Diamond League in Doha a fortnight ago.

Kiplagat will take on Chepseba, who has a 3:29.90 best mark in 1,500, and the 22nd runner in history to break 3:30 barrier.

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Commonwealth 3,000m steeplechase champion Richard Mateelong, who dropped out of the final at the Mumias meet, will lead the water and barriers charges.

But former Africa 5,000m champion Vincent Yator will slug it out with two-time world cross-country junior bronze medalist Lucas Rotich.

Geoffrey Mutai, the world’s fastest marathoner 2:03.02 will a legion of marathoners –that include Wilson Kipsang (2:03.42), Geoffrey Kipsang, Wilson Chebet and Sammy Kitwara–in the 10,000m battle.

And despite a poor showing at the Diamond League in Shanghai, world 5,000m silver medalist Sylvia Kibet, is keen to fit into Vivian Cheruiyot’s shoes.

Kibet, who has played bridemaids role to Vivian in Berlin and Daegu, will line up in 1,500m.

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“I did not impress in Shanghai but I hope to use the Police Championships to regain form. We should not disappoint Vivian,” said Kibet, who studied with Vivian at Sing’ore Girls in Keiyo North.

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Kenya Police David Rudisha Ezekiel Kemboi ` Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani