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Jepleting for Benin

By OSCAR PILIPILI | June 17th 2012

Priscah Jepleting came to the Athletics Kenya (AK) National Championships expecting to qualify for the Olympics, but a fifth place finish in 10,000m race denied her the chance to make it to the London Games.

The top three finishers (Vivian Cheruiyot, Joyce Chepkirui and Sally Kipyego) qualified for London. Jepleting, however, left Kasarani with different national duties as she leads Kenyan team of 44 to the African Senior Athletics Championships, which will be held in Porto Nova, Benin from June 26 to July 1.

Kenya won the overall title with 10 gold medals out of the 25 that it clinched in Nairobi in 2010. They will face stiff challenge from other African giants. Nigeria wound up second in Nairobi in 2010 with 18 medals (seven gold), South Africa 19 (six gold) and Egypt 9 (four gold).

Jepleting, who clocked 32 minutes 38.29 makes the 10,000m team together with Betsy Saina who finished the National Championships sixth in 32:42.81 and Margaret Akai who came seventh in 32:47.67.

Florence Kiplagat, who was fourth, was overlooked for the second time by AK. Kiplagat the Berlin marathon champion, was fourth when AK named the Olympic marathon team having finished fourth in London behind Mary Keitany, Edna Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo. She has however, been placed on the standby list for the London Olympics marathon team.

Steeplechase team

Mercy Njoroge who won 3000m steeplechase women in 9:40.0 will combine forces with Ivin Jepkemoi (9:41.3) and  Fanenca Chemutai (9:42.8) to represent Kenya in water and hurdles event. In 3,000m steeplechase men, Abel Mutai (8:27.7), victory was enough to secure him a berth together with Wilson Maraba (8:28.0) and Abraham Chirchir (8:28.2).

Athletes entered in 5000m include national champion Geoffrey Kipsang who won the event at Kasarani in 13:31.3, Jonathan Maiyo (13:32.0) and Timothy Kiptoo (13:33.1).

In 5000m women, national queen Gladys Cherono is expected to replicate her performance in Benin after she won the event at Kasarani in 15:39.5. She will be joined by Veronicah Nyaruai (15:40.8) and Janet Khisa (15:41.7).

Kenya team: MEN —100m: Ibrahim Muya, Tony Chirchir, Emmanuel Letunkunye; 400m: Vincent Mumo, Boniface Mweresa, Collins Omae; 400m hurdles: Boniface Mucheru, Vincent Kosgei; 800m: Anthony Chemut, Cornelius Kiplagat, Richard Kiplagat; 1,500m: Caleb Mwangangi, James Magut, Abednego Chesebe; 3000m sc: Abel Mutai, Wilson Maraba, Abraham Chirchir; 5000m: Geoffrey Kipsang, Jonathan Maiyo, Timothy Kiptoo; 10,000m: Eliud Kipchoge, Geoffrey Kirui, Lucas Kimeli Rotich.

WOMEN — 400m: Joyce Zakari, Catherine Nandi; 400m hurdles: Maureen Jelagat; 800m: Eunica Sum, Jane Jelagat, Sylvia Chesebe; 1,500m: Margaret Wangare, Mary Kuria, Berin Nenkambi; 3000m sc: Mercy Njoroge, Ivin Jepkemoi, Fanenca Chemutai; 5,000m: Gladys Cherono, Veronicah Nyaruai, Janet Khisa; 10,000m: Priscah Jepleting, Betsy Saina, Margaret Akai; 20km walk: Grace Wanjiru, Emily Ngii; Javelin: Lindah Oseso.

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