Faith, Cheruiyot light up Nyayo as team named
Despite having run only one major race this year and having already sealed a place to the World Championships as the defending champion, Olympic and World 1,500m champion Faith Chepngetich was still a lady on a mission yesterday.
The diminutive athlete scorched the 1,500m field at the bell and even still had time to beckon Winny Chebet to help her cross the line as the two-day World Championships trials ended at Nyayo Stadium.
Chepngetich clocked 4:03.22 with Winny Chebet settling for second place in 4:03.23 with Sela Jepleting third (4:05.25) while Judy Chepngetich (4:06.59) crossed the line in the fourth spot and in the process get a slot in Kenya’s team to Doha.
“I just wanted to see how my body will react here in the trials, that’s why I had gone fast at the 800m mark. Since coming back from maternity, I’m impressed with my performance and I can say I’m ready for my title defence,” Chepngetich said.
Chebet who is a Continental Cup and Africa champion said: “I’m in good shape and this being my second time at the World Championships, I have enough experience to aim at the podium position.”
In the men race, World 1500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot, who has been a dominant figure in the last two seasons showed why he will be the man to beat as he easily won the race yesterday.
It looked like a training session for Cheruiyot as his commanding performance saw him stop the clock at 3:34.91. Ronald Kwemoi was second in 3:37.61 while world Under-20 George Manangoi was third in 3:37.00.
The three runners will now join world champion Manangoi who has a nagging ankle injury and missed the trials to give his leg enough time to heal before the World Championships.
“I’m glad I have had a good season which has seen me successfully defend the Diamond League trophy. My focus now shifts to World Championship and I hope to continue with the same shape and win the world title in Doha.
“I know with my training mates, the Manangoi brothers in the team and other members of the squad, we will do well at the championships,” Cheruiyot said.
The younger Manangoi was graceful in defeat but was happy to make the team to the World Championships.
“This another great chance for me to grace the senior team after winning African Games title in Morocco. With the help of my brother (Elijah) and my training mate Timothy we will do well in Doha,” said George.
On his part, Elijah expressed confidence he will be fully fit before departing to Doha for the global meet.
“I just decided to miss this event to give my leg more time to recover, but it's responding well and I will be ready to defend my title,” Elijah said.
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