The Safaricom National Athletics Championships ended at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani yesterday with impressive shows for Kenyan athletics records.
The spectacle registered two national records in men’s 100m, equaled the high jump record and then slapped new women’s 400m hurdles mark as well as unofficial hand-timed 200m record.
The new national record holders secured qualifying times for the All Africa Games set for Congo, Brazzaville and the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing, China, next month.
Vivian Cheruiyot, the 2011 world 5,000m and 10,000m champion, once again fired warning shots to Ethiopia’s track assassin Genzebe Dibaba as she cruised to 1,500m victory which she was using to build on her speed.
And with six weeks into the World Athletics Championships, World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor re-affirmed his intent to stop double Olympic and world 5,000m champion Mo Farah’s title defence bid with a commanding win in 5,000m
It was Mike Mokamba, who set the record breaking spree in motion, when he assaulted Tom Musinde’s 10.26secs mark in the 100m, setting a new national record of 10.23, even as Fransisca Koki slapped a new 400m hurdles record of 55.82 to break her own record of 55.84 she set in Morocco.
Things did not work well for Florence Wasike, who posted 14:08 in winning the 100m hurdles to break her 14:21 national record, but did not hit the qualifying time for the international events.
Alphas Kishoyian, the 2011 World Youth 400m silver medalist, ran an impressive 44.75 seconds in the one-lap race – a feat that no other athlete has achieved in 20 years since the times of David Kitur and Kennedy Ochieng’.
On Thursday, Mathew Sawe set the ball rolling when he equaled a 23-year-old 2.24m national high-jump record held by Jacob Katonon.
Mokamba, the son of 1988 Seoul Olympics sprinter Elkana Nyang’au, won 100m in 10.23 ahead of Mark Otieno (10.48), Emmanuel Lentukunye (10.58) and Brian Gatura (10.62).
Mokamba said: “I am happy for the record, but I still need to hit IAAF Qualifying Standard A mark (10:16). The IAAF World Relays Championships and the coaching from my father has helped me a lot.”
Kamworor, who is the world half marathon champion, wore the 5,000m crown in 13:14.7 beating world 5,000m bronze medalist Isaiah Koech Kiplang’at (13:23.3), Emmanuel Kipsang (13:25.4) and James Kibet (13:36.7).
Two-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop easily won the 800m race in 1:45.4 upstaging Olympic 800m bronze Timothy Kitum (1:45.7) and 2010 Africa 800m champion Jackson Kivuva (1:45.9).
Vivian Cheruiyot, the 2011 world champion, won 1,500m in 4:09.88 ahead of Judy Kiyeng (4:11.46) and Sela Jepleting (4:13.21).
Cheruiyot said: “I have not decided whether to compete in 5,000m or 10,000m. But I am happy that my form is responding well. In 2011 before the World Championships, I did 1,500m in 4:04, which is not way off today’s 4:09. I hope to hit this mark before the world championships.
“Genzebe Dibaba (of Ethiopia) has been competing since I went for maternity in 2012 and I hope I will be in great shape to tackle her in the same way I battled her elder sister Tirunesh Dibaba.”
Courtesy of in2eastafrica.net