Aprot keen to defend Africa title: Korikwang and Ndiwa are itching for medals in 10,000m

By Denis Okeyo: Saturday, August 4th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Alice Aprot of Kenya competes in the 10000m final to win ahead of winning the Gold medalat the 11th Africa Games in Brazzaville on September 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO

Manangoi and Cheruiyot hope to make it to 1,500m final tomorrow.

Alice Aprot leads Kenya’s medal chase as she seeks to defend her 10,000m title at the 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championships inside Stephen Keshi Stadium today.

Aprot, fourth at the Rio Olympics, will team up with Commonwealth Games silver medalist Stasy Ndiwa and Pauline Korikwang against perennial rivals Ethiopia.  

After posting 30:26.94 to lead a clean sweep at the 2016 Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Durban, South Africa, Aprot heads to the starting line today ready to fly the national flag high.

She marshaled forces with Jackline Chepgeno who won a silver while Joyciline Jepkosgei won a bronze.

But the 30-year-old Korikwang, the national trials winner at Kasarani Stadium in June with 31:51.1 is also itching for glory. She boasts huge experience in distance running, having won World Military Games twice and is making her return to global scene after injury ruled her out for three years.

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Ndiwa, a silver medalist at Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in Australia, complete Kenya's stellar line up. “I’m glad the season has been well without injuries. My aim is to appear on the podium and, more importantly, win the race and claim a ticket to the Inter-continental Championships in next month,” Korikwiang said.

World 1500m champion Elijah Manangoi, silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot and Charles Simotwo will line up in the semi finals today.

They are seeking to reclaim the title Kenya has lost in two previous championships since Caleb Ndiku’s victory in Porto-Novo, Benin, in 2012.

Olympics 800m bronze medalist Margaret Nyairera, Emily Cherotich and 2013 world champion Eunice Sum are expected progress to tomorrow’s 800m final as they compete in today’s heats.

Maureen Jelagat, the 2016 Africa 400m hurdles silver medalist, and Jane Chege of National Police Service will fly the Kenyan flag in 400m semi finals.

Jelagat said: “I will make sure, I just remain composed through out the race to enable me make it to the finals, where I hope to make it to the podium.”

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