Rhonex, Cherono and Chepkoech star at Police championships

World 3,000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech in action at Kasarani Stadium yesterday. [Jonah Onyango, Standard

Rhonex Kipruto, the world record holder over the 10K distance on the roads, and Mercy Cherono, the 2013 world silver medallist, floored their respective opponents at the ongoing National Police Service track and field meeting at Kasarani Stadium yesterday. 

The two-day contest has brought together different Kenya Police departments ahead of the busy season that will have World Championships in Oregon, Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Africa Championships in Mauritius. 

Rhonex representing the Police Border Unit, took off at the gun looking to challenge a deep field of would-be competitors, that included Joseph Kiptum, Edward Bett and Titus Mbishei among others. 

Rhonex, 22, who used the law enforcers’ competition as part of his preparations for the World Championships trials slated for June 24-25, timed 28:38.7 to win the race. 

Kiptum (29:00.6) running for North Eastern bagged silver with Bett of Rapid Deployment Unit settling for bronze slot in 29:01.2.

“I was using this championships to gauge myself on the track. And since it’s a world championships year, all focus is to represent the country at the World Championships in Oregon. I don’t want to run many races now, the target is to make the team at the Kenyan trials,” said Rhonex who hopes to improve on his third place finish at the last World Championships in Doha in 2019. 

Front running Cherono from Rift Valley, ran 15:20.12 to beat the 2018 World U-20 champion Beatrice Chebet of National Police College (15:33.15) and third placed Caroline Nyaga (15:44.14) of Eastern.

“I decided to push hard midway in order to get fast times, my biggest pray just like any other athletes now, is to get a chance to represent the country at the World Championships,” said Cherono. 

World 3,000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Anti-Stock Theft Unit easily won the first semi-final in 9:28.34 followed by Virginia Nyambura (DCI) in 9:53.31 and Purity Cherotich (DCI) in 10:06.27 respectively. 

In men’s 1,500m heat one, Calsitus Ndiwa produced 3:50.16 to win the race ahead of Aron Langat (3:53.07).