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Kiptoo to anchor Africa Masters squad

ATHLETICS By Jonathan Komen | November 7th 2021
Mark Kiptoo (R) leads pack to win the 10,000m race during the Athletics Kenya Masters Trials at Nyayo national stadium on Saturday November 06, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Former Frankfurt Marathon winner Mark Kiptoo will lead the national team at the Africa Masters Athletics Championship set for Nairobi on November 22-27.

Kiptoo, a Kenya Air Force Sergeant but still an active athlete, produced a brilliant performance in 10,000m at the national trials inside Nyayo Stadium yesterday.

The ever-green but 45-year-old won the under 50 age category in 30:15.1 ahead of Samuel Ndereba (30:29.9), Francis Boen (30:47.2) and David Kipkogei (30:49.9).

He looks destined for a bigger slice of glory while still an active athlete.

“I am happy for the win. I will compete in major marathons and Masters races on the track. I long to compete at the Masters in Nairobi,” he said.

Kiptoo, who picked up athletics after serving in KDF for seven years, said discipline makes him remain consistent in the sport.

“I serve in KDF where there is high level of discipline. While I was a civilian, I never had such kind of discipline. There is need for athletes to also seek wise counsel from successful athletes who competed for many years. For my case, I always seek advice from Noah Ng’eny (former Olympic 1,500m champion) and John Kibowen (former world cross country 4km champion).

“As an athlete, you must have long term goals in the sport. That gives you the focus and drive to remain active for many years,” he said.

In 2013, Kiptoo triumphed in Frankfurt Marathon in 2:06:49, the fastest ever time by a 38-year-old, taking 23 seconds off the mark set by Carlos Lopes in 1985.

Kiptoo might be the oldest active Kenyan athlete at the moment but looks destined for a bigger slice of marathon glory.

Elijah Keitany won men under 45 years 5000m in 15:16.3 beating Francis Bowen (15:16.5), Francis Wachira (15:25.6) and Samuel Maina (16:10.7).

Olympian Emily Cherotich won women under 35 10,000m duel in 36:00.0 ahead of two-time Commonwealth Games 10,000m bronze medalist Innes Chenonge (39:07.3) and Caroline Cheruto (41:35.1).

Francis Kola, the Police County Commander of Kisii, won the under 55 100m race in 13.0 seconds ahead of James Murigi ( 13.2).

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