By James Magayi @magayijim
Africa Youth 3,000m gold medallist Emily Chebet continued her dominance over the distance at the World Youth Trials which begun yesterday at Nyayo Stadium when she clocked 9:08.8 to book the first ticket to Cali, Colombia, next month.
Chebet, who also won silver at the Mauritius Africa Junior Athletics Championships 10,000m went shoulder-to-shoulder with Sheila Chelang’at but proved too strong for the latter who settled for second place in 9:11.5.
The duo, usually mistaken for sisters due to their similar facial features, will take their rivalry to South America in a championship which Chelang’at says will mark a turning point in her career.
Tired of playing second fiddle to Chebet, Chelang’at is predicting a reversing of roles between the two 17-year-olds. She said: “She always beats me even in school championships but I want to turn table on her in Colombia.
I checked her strength in today’s race and even though she won, I believe I’m capable of pulling a first one on her next month,” The Africa Youth champion is, however, not cowed by Chelangat’s sentiments. She said “I feel as if I’m going to dominate this race for a longer period because my competitors have not stepped up.
They had a chance of beating me today but they could not and I was not at my best” Edward Kipng’etich led eleven others at qualifying for the final of men’s equivalent race in 7:51.7 followed by Peter Langat who clocked 8:00.3 from the second heat ahead of Richard Yator and Davis Kiplangat.
Betty Chepkemoi from South Rift won the first heat of women 800m in 2:08.5 to book a place in today’s final. Chepkemoi Tirop finished second but ranked seventh overall due to faster times posted in the second heat. Kasyoka Musasya, Purity Chepkoech and Mary Kalakye will all feature in the finals after posting required times.
In 800m men race, only eight athletes from the four heats will feature in today’s final. Boaz Kiprugut led Mbithi Kyulu and Jeremiah Koima into day two that also has Peter Kiptum, Noah Mutai, Willy Tarbei, Solomon Lekuta and Kipyegon Bett after they they finished in the top two positions of their respective heats.
Jane Njoki led qualification for women’s 400m ahead of Sharon Chepkirui and Joy Chepkoech. Geoffrey Rotich clocked 5:34.8 to win the first heat of boys 2000m steeplechase ahead of Justin Moseti who registered 5:35.5.
The slightly slower heat meant that Vincent Kipyego who won the second heat in 5: 29.1 qualified first into today’s final followed by Kevin Kimutai who timed 5:33.2. In the 1,500m Japheth Kipng’etich, Kipchoge Kiptoo and Lawi Komen won the three heats leading among others Turkey Kumari, Larry Koech and Phineas Kibet into the finals today.
Courtesy of mediamaxnetwork.co.ke