World Marathon champion Ruth Chepng'etich stormed to victory in the women’s 10,000m as the three-day National Championships started at Kasarani Stadium yesterday.
The event, initially scheduled for April 28-30, but was changed due to the declaration of April 30 a National Holiday to accord the late Mwai Kibaki a befitting State Funeral.
AK will use the Championships to select a team that will represent Kenya at the Africa Senior Championships set for Mauritius on June 8- 12.
The 1-2 finish for Kenya Prisons in women’s 10,000m brought back memories of the golden generation of former London Marathon winner Margaret Okayo, former Olympic marathon silver medallist Catherine Ndereba and three-time world cross country 4km winner Edith Masai, who competed for the correctional department.
Chepng’etich controlled the race from gun to tape timing 31:47.9 to win her maiden national 10,000m title.
Former Africa champion Alice Aprot finished second in 32:01.0, while KDF’s Purity Komen (32:32.6) closed the podium.
“This was my speed endurance work and part of my world marathon preparations. It’s also my first national outing for Prisons team. I’m glad I have started my career at Prisons with a victory,” said Chepng’etich who holds the second-fastest ever women-only marathon of 2:17:18 and was named in the marathon team.
Judith Jeptum, the winner of the 2022 Paris Marathon and Maureen Chepkemoi who holds a personal best of 2:20:18 were also included in the marathon team, while Angela Tanui, last year’s Amsterdam Marathoner winner was named in the reserve team.
At the same time, African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala stormed to men’s 100m heat victory in 9.9 seconds and promised a fast time when he faces two Olympic medallists at the Kip Keino Classic on May 7.
Omanyala will take on the 200m silver medal winner from Tokyo Fred Kerley and 100m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek who have confirmed participation at the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour meet.
“The season has kicked off well for me. This Championships is part of my preparations towards Kip Keino Classic where I expect a fast race, I think I can predict the race will be won in 9.6 or 9.7 seconds,” said Omanyala who came in second after clocking 9.77secs, a new African record.