Youngsters stage an exciting performance in the three-day showdown.
World Youth steeplechase silver medallist Sandra Felis Chebet produced a brilliant display of form to win the 10,000m race as the three-day National Police Service Athletics Championship kicked off at Nyayo Stadium yesterday.
Competing as a civilian, Chebet was keen to arrest the police officers, blasting off in the third lap to upstage experienced athletes Stacy Ndiwa, Lydia Rotich, Sheila Chesang and former All Africa Games champion Ruth Bosibori.
Chebet, who comes from Kericho County, chalked up a 34:19.2 victory as Ndiwa, the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games 1,500m champion, settled for the runner-up spot in 34:34.2 while Lydia Rotich, who has switched from steeplechase to long-distance races, sealed the podium places in 34:38.5.
Others in the top 10 spots were Sheila Chesang in fifth and Bosibori, who has also switched to road races, in seventh.
“I came to test my form and improve on endurance. The victory came as a surprise for me considering we had many experienced runners," said Chebet. "Although I’m still a junior athlete, I was here to compete for a ticket to the national trials in the hope that I will make it to the IAAF World Championship in London. But I’m yet to decide which race to settle for - either 1,500m or 5,000m."
In the men’s 5,000m semi-finals, Vincent Yator signalled his intention to wear the crown when he easily won the first semis in 13:56.6. James Kibet (13:56.8) came second and Silas Kipruto also sailed into the finals in 14:01.9.
In another semi-final, little-known Josphat Boit (13:59.8) won ahead of Chris Munyao (14:00.2) and Peter Kirui (14:01.3).
In the 1,500m heat one, Beatrice Chepkoech produced a scintillating pace that shook her challengers off, winning in 4:18.3. Her good show came after she lined up for Kenya in mixed relays at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, in March.
Caroline Tuigong, the 2006 World Junior champion, proved she was no pushover as she beat youngster Winfred Mbithe and Eglay Nalianya who came second and third respectively.
Abednego Chesebe won the men’s 1,500m heat one ahead of Timothy Katam while 19-year old George Manangoi, the younger brother of world silver medallist Elijah Manangoi, won another heat. Elijah, the older Manangoi, dropped from his 1,500m specialty to 800m.