Kibet still unbeatable
By Oscar Pilipili
World marathon champion Luke Kibet won the 10,000m at the Kenya Prisons championships in an exciting photo finish to qualify for the Nationals slatted for June 25-27.
The 26-year-old long distance runner, Kibet, clocked 28:52.8 to beat runner-up Joseph Birech who returned 28:53.0 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Daniel Too, representing Nairobi, finished third in 28:59.6 followed by Victor Kigen (29:09.8) and Cleophas Rop (29:24.0) in the Inter-provincial championships.
The race started on a slow pace with the leading pack comprising of Kibet, Birech, Daniel Too and Victor Kigen recording 76 seconds per lap.
The pace never improved until the final 400m when Kibet and Birech broke off from the leading pack of four runners to sprint to the finish.
Kibet conceded that the race was not easy for since he had just returned to action after a back injury he picked at the London Marathon.
"I didn’t expect to win because I treated the meeting as training," he said.
Kibet, who is specialised in marathon, said he would use the Nationals to try and qualify for the IAAF Berlin World Championships.
"Being in the marathon reserve team does not guarantee me a place in the national team so I would try to qualify through 10,000m," Kibet told journalists yesterday.
The Algiers All Africa Games finalist, Birech, attributed the slow pace to lack of pushers.
"There were no pushers and the race was like a warm up to the Nationals, so there was no need of burning out," he said.
Birech expressed displeasure with the slow time of the race that held after well past mid-day.
The day’s events were delayed by about three hours because of the military parade that was rehearsing for the Madaraka Day celebrations.
"We’re used to running such long races around 10am but this one has come too late," he complained.
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