Kimais picks 10,000m ticket to African Games

By Dennis Okeyo: Saturday, June 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
KDF's Irene Kimais on the finish line winning 10,000meters Women race during Africa Games trials at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Friday, June 22nd, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Irene Kimais of Kenya Defence Force (KDF) yesterday beat top names to pick 10,000m ticket to African Games that run in Morocco on August 23 to September 3.

Kamais obliterated a strong field that had African Games 10,000m champion Alice Aprot at Kasarani Stadium. Athletics Kenya will name a 65-member squad today to the 12th edition of the Pan Africa Games.

Kimais, who won Athletics Kenya weekend meeting in Mumias last month, produced a killer pace from behind with two laps left to win in 32:23.11 ahead of Monica Chirchir of Kenya Police (32:28). Caroline Nyaga, a newcomer, returned third in 32:30.63. Aprot of Kenya Prisons came a distant eighth. 

“The weather was good. I missed out on the World Cross Country squad and hoped to make the national team,” said Kimais, a runner up finisher at the 2018 Nairobi Standard Charter 21km race.

“I now hope to win my first medal while representing the country in Morocco. I am confident of achieving it," she added.

Iten-based Chirchir said: “The last time I competed at the trials was Nairobi World Under-18 trials where I finished sixth in 3,000m. I am happy to make the team and looking forward to a good show in Morocco."

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In women’s 20km walk race, Emily Ngii of KDF emerged as a surprise winner beating veteran walker and colleague Grace Wanjiru.

Ngii timed 1:38.43 ahead of Wanjiru who crossed the line in 1:39.31. Sylvia Kemboi sealed the podium places in 1:42.08.

National 100m record holder Mark Otieno continued his dominance, winning in 10:40 seconds, beating the African Games qualification standard which is set at 10.44 seconds.

Ferdinand Omanyala came second in 10.60 seconds ahead of Kenya Prison’s Hesbon Otieno (10.62).

The women’s 100m show turned out as a Kenya Police affair with Eunice Kadogo leading a 1-2-3 sweep.

Kadogo (11:98 seconds) ahead of Frashia Mwangi (12:27) while Joan Cherono finished third in 12:36.  

In men’s 400m semi-finals, US-based duo of Emmanuel Korir and Raymond Kibet, as well as Alphas Kishoyian, qualified for today's finals in what promises to be a dogfight.

“It was an easy race. My aim was to make it to the finals and then give it my best. I don't a fast time since Nairobi is high altitude,” said Kibet, a student at Tulane University in USA.

Caroline Waingajo of Posta, who staged her comeback from maternity, won 100m hurdles.

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