Chasing Honours at Armed Forces meet
By James Waindi
Hellen Obiri of Laikipia Air Base stunned Olympic 1,500m champion Nancy Lagat and World Military Games 10, 000m champion Doris Changeiwo in the semi-finals of the same distance at the on going Armed Forces Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Obiri clocked 4:39.1 to win the second semi-final race over the distance, narrowly beating Lagat who is also the Commonwealth 1, 500m and 800m gold medallist, yesterday.
Lagat, who seemed to be running a relaxed race, settled for the runner-up position in a time of 4:39.5, guaranteeing her a position in today’s final where she plans to put more effort to be part of the Kenyan team at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Changeiwo was third in the race in a time of 4:40.0.
"The race was good. It was my third race this season, but I did not want to stretch my self before tomorrow’s (today’s) final. I ran in Rome and Bloemfontein, but I am yet to run my season best, I hope I would soon hit my best form and attain the qualifying mark for the world championships," said Lagat.
She added: "I want to focus on the 1,500m race alone at the World Championships and I would not be trying my hand on the 800m race."
Langat lead the race from the start to the last lap before being beaten in the first 200m by Obiri who had been on hot on heels throughout.
The first semi-final was faster, with another Laikipia runner Alice Waithera calling the shots in a time of 4:24.7. Perin Nengapi of Moi Air Base was second in the race 4:25.3 and Thika’s Gladys Chepng’eno was third in 4:27.1.
In the men 1, 500m, Africa Athletics Championships 800m bronze medallist Jackson Kivuva survived a scare to eventually finish third and earn a place in today’s final which is expected to be blistering. At the bell Kivuva was last in the race but managed to sprint to third position in a time of 3:46.9. The race was won by Embakasi’s Bebard Kaptingei in a time of 3:43.8, while Steve Raswey of Kahawa was second in a time of 3:46.3.
In the second 1,500m semi-final race, Gideon Gathimba who was fourth at the 2008 World Athletics Final, shook off a strong challenge from Nicholas Meli to win in a time of 3:44.1. Meli running for Nairobi was second in 3:44.3, while Daudi Makala of Mtongwe was third in 3:44.7.
The 20km men walk saw David Mutai of Nanyuki rule the roast as he clocked 01:24.5, while Mtongwe’s Julius Sawe was second in 01:28.5 and Moi Air Base’s Daniel Parsaloi was third in 01:30.2.
Thika’s David Limo won the men’s discus (48.97m) and he was followed by Richard Metet of Laikipia Air Base on 46.08 and Willy Kesio was third in 44.97.
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