BY MUIGAI KIGURU
Africa youth 2,000m steeplechase champion Emily Chebet and silver medallist Sheila Chelagat booked their slots in the Team Kenya to the World Youth Championships set for Cali, Colombia.
The two were in superb form reminiscent to their continental conquering performance in Mauritius in March.
The duo produced a front-running display in Day One of the national trials with Chebet claiming the title in her speciality in 9:0.8 ahead of Chelangat, who was two seconds adrift. Roselida Jepketer clocked 9:13.7 to take the bronze medal position.
The duo said they are happy to have made the team together, as they continue with their ‘sisterly’ act, a bond they have held since they were young.
“I am happy the two of us will be in the team,” said Chebet.
Chelangat, however, exuded confidence that she intends to rise to the occasion in Cali and dethrone her conqueror. “I will not accept to be number two again. I must make sure I get the gold medal, and if she beats me, I will give her a hard time,” said Chelangat.
In the 3,000m heats boys, Africa 1000m junior silver medallist Davis Kiplangat was relegated to position five in the first heat won by Richard Yator in 8:03.3). Kiplangat clocked 8:08.5. Edward Rono (7:51.7) easily won heat two to book a place in today’s final.
“I have been working hard in training and I am hoping the body will react well tomorrow (today),” said Kiplangat, who will be eyeing one of the two slots in this event. “I am hoping to do well in Cali and ensure I graduate into the senior ranks in style.”
Betty Chepkemoi, fourth at the Africa Juniors in Addis Ababa in April, was the fastest in the girls’ 800m heats, winning her race in a time of 2:08.5.
Viphian Tirop came home second in 2:12.8, as Kasyoka Musyoki finished third in 2:15.1 to also enter today’s final. Mary Kalakye timed 2:10.3 to win heat 2, followed by Divinah Nyabonyi (2:11.6) in second place.
Lawi Komen led the qualifiers for today’s 1,500m final in a time of 3:47.0 in heat 1, ahead of world youth leader and Africa youth champion Taki Kumari (3:47.6). Amos Kibet was third in 3:49.5. Africa junior champion Anthony Kiptoo won the second heat in 3:46.3 ahead of Larry Koech (3:47.2) and Shadrack Ngumbau (3:47.6). Japheth Kipngetich won heat 3 in 3:49.5 ahead of Phineas Kibet (3:49.8) and Gilbert Kirui (3:50.0).
Vincent Kipyegon, fourth at the Africa Junior championships, won heat 1 in the 2,000m steeplechase in 5:29.1 to storm into today’s final. Kimutai Sang (5:33.3) and Nickson Kiplangat were second and third (5:36.5) respectively. Geoffrey Kiprotich (5:34.8), Justin Moseti (5:35.5) and Rodgers Kipchirchir were top in the second.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke