Athletics: Upsets mark national trials

By Dennis Okeyo: Sunday, June 23rd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Edwin Soi during Africa Games trials at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Shattered ambitions and dreams come true marked Athletics Kenya's trials for the 12th African Games scheduled for Morocco from August 23 to September 3.

Yesterday, AK named a 61-member team to the continental games after three days of riveting action at Kasarani Stadium.

The team, which has a mix of young and old guards, include world 3,000m steeplechase holder Beatrice Chepkoech, Africa 800m silver medalist Emmanuel Korir in 400m, world under-20 champion George Manangoi (1,500m), Mark Otieno (100m) and African Champion Mathew Sawe (high jump).

New talent Irene Kimais of Kenya Defense Force (KDF) leads women's 10,000m onslaught alongside Monica Chirchir and Caroline Nyaga.

Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic 5,000m bronze medalis, beat Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Paul Tanui in 10,000m contest, winning in 27:55.30. He will marshal forces with Tanui (27:58.06) and Charles Yosei (28:18.06) at the African Games.

“It’s great to come back in track and win the race. I have been training for marathon but my manager could not secure me a race," Soi said.

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Tanui, the Japan-based athlete, said: “The race was good. We feared each other for quite some time and that's why none of us dared make an early move. I am happy for the second position."

Mark Otieno will compete in men’s 100m while national champion Eunice Kadogo will fly Kenyan women's flag in the race.

Maureen Thomas stunned Eunice Kadogo to win women's 200m finals. Thomas won in 23.95 ahead of Kadogo (23.96) while Joan Cherono came third in 24.61.

Men's 20km walk will feature African Champion Samuel Gathimba of Kenya Prisons who beat KDF's Simon Wachira and World U-18 bronze medallist Dominic Ndigiti to second and third places. Emily Ndii and Grace Wanjiru will contest in women’s 20km walk.

Hellen Syombua of National Police set a new national record of 51.09 seconds in women’s 400m erasing Ruth Waithera’s previous mark. The team will report Kasarani Stadium on July 28 for three-week camp.

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