Otieno sets ‘record’ in championship
Performance in 200m earned him World championship qualification mark.
The 100m national record ‘came down’ as the three-day Athletics Kenya National Championships ended yesterday at Nyayo Stadium.
24-year-old Mark Otieno representing Eastern produced a breath-taking dash in the men’s 100m finals to win the race in 10.14 seconds - a time that will have to be verified by AK before being declared as the national record.
Mike Mokamba’s time of 10.23 seconds set at Kasarani Stadium in 2015 still stands as the national record.
Ferdinard Omanyala of Kenya Prisons Service finished second ahead of KDF’s Morris Wasike (10:39).
Otieno also emerged victorious in men’s 200m with a time of 20.41 which is enough to see him attain World Championships qualification standard which is pegged at 20.44 seconds.
“I am extremely happy, I knew I was in my top form but didn’t expect to get the World Championship time here (Nyayo Stadium). My opponents who included Dennis Otieno and Omanyala really pushed me. My target now is to try get qualification time in 100m, I missed today by two micro-seconds, but still, I am happy with my national record,” said Otieno who was also part of Kenyan team to the the 2017 edition IAAF World Relays in Bahamas earlier this year.
Prison’s Timothy Cheruiyot (3:41.0) spiced up the final day with a commanding finish in men’s 1500m. Justus Soget (3:41.5) a Form Three student at Kirobon Boys High School in Nakuru County stunned four-time world champion Asbel Kiprop to win silver. Kiprop finished third timing in 3:42.6.
“I was simply using this championship to prepare for the coming Stockholm Diamond league before I shift focus to national trials for World Championship,” said soft spoken Cheruiyot who is coached by Bernard Ouma at their Rongai Athletics Club.
Easy win for Chepkoech
Just as expected Beatrice Chepkoech, a steeplechase specialist easily beat her main challenger Judy Kiyeng, younger sister to Hyvin Kiyeng, world 3000m steeplechase champion to win 1500m women’s race in 4:03.2.
Kiyeng of KDF clocked 4:04.4 to win silver while Winfred Mbithe (4:05.3) was third.
Upcoming talent Maxila Imali was a dominant force bagging victories in women’s 100m and 400m timing 11.7 and 51:18 respectively.
Maureen Jelagat who jetted back from her training base in Germany this week easily defended her 400m hurdles title. Jelagat clocked 58:53 to finish ahead of Jerutich Gathogo (59:53) while Priscila Tabunda finished third to close the podium places.
In the corresponding men’s race, Willy Mbevi won the race in a time of 49:88. Onesmas Meli took silver while Erick Kiptoo of Prison settled for bronze.
The focus now shifts to the national trials to select the team to 2017 London World Championship with head coach Julius Kirwa expressing optimism of a good show in London.