Fierce battle expected on final day of AK meet

Edinah Chebitok and Purity Komen (right) participating in 10km during AK second leg of Cross Country Championships race in Iten last year. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Fireworks are expected when top stars lock horns on the final day of the fourth leg of Athletics Kenya track and field meeting at Nyayo Stadium today.

Yesterday, newcomer Purity Komen of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) stunned a rich field to win the women’s 10,000m final in 32:33.81 ahead of Agnes Mumbua (33:10.43) and Emily Chebet (33:26.69). Viola Yator (35:18.94) of KDF, Pauline Eapan (36:41.29) and Eunice Jeptoo (37:21.33) of KDF followed.

Former world under 20 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist Leonard Bett won 5000m heat one. Bett said: “I am using the 5,000m to gauge my endurance as I prepare for Commonwealth Games (in Birmingham, UK on July 28-August 8).”

Emmanuel Kiprop from Nyahururu won heat two as he upstaged top names in Gideon Rono and Michael Kibet. The men’s 5000m duel had nine heats while 100m had 152 athletes lining up in 19 heats.

It will an interesting sight to watch Olympians, world championships medallists, Africa champions and national record holders square it out in today’s final. Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala will light up the men’s 100m showdown.

Apart from Omanyala and former national record holder Mike Mokamba squaring it out, major surprises are expected in middle distance races.

Last month at the Nyayo Stadium during the first leg of the series, 165 sprinters lined up for the men’s 100m race, and the result was 13 heats.

The women’s 400m has attracted among others national record holder in the distance Hellen Syombua and Olympian Mary Moraa.

Syombua competed in the women’s 400m event at the 2019 World Championships. She did not advance to compete in the semi-finals and she will be seeking to stamp authority.

In June 2021, she qualified to represent the country at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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