18 May 2017

Kenya: Big Guns Fire At Police Championships

Guest runner World Cross Country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait won the 5,000m women's final as World javelin champion Julius Yego coasted to easy victory at the Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships that ended Thursday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Also gliding to comfortable wins were World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi and World Relays 4x800m representative Caroline Cherotich, who retained their men and women's 800m title as guest entrant Vincent Rono won men's 10,000m.

International Jacinta Shikanda ruled the roost in both women's 200m and 400m while World Cross Country mixed relays gold medallist Beatrice Chepkoech wrapped up a double with victory in women's 1,500m, a day after donning the 3,000m steeplechase title.

Kasait, who turned 20 on May 5, celebrated in style when she pulled away from World 3,000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng with eight laps to go to triumph in 15 minutes and 36.3 seconds.

Kasait, the 2014 World Under-20 3,000 silver medallist won by a commanding 100m from Kiyeng, the Olympic silver medallist, who clocked 15:51.1 as Jackline Cherotich settled for third in 16:03.5.

"I just wanted to test my body since this is my first race since World Cross Country in March," said Kasait. "It's quite a good way to celebrate my birthday as I prepare for the Diamond League and the World Championships trials."

Kasait, who is based at Lemotit Athletics Club, Londiani, is looking forward to open her Diamond League season in 5,000m at Prefontaine Classic due May 27 in Eugene, USA while the National trials for the World Championships will be held on July 21 and 22 at Kasarani.

"I am happy with my progress as I transit to senior ranks," said Kasait, a Form Three student at Saramei Secondary School.

Olympic silver medallist Yego, who started his season with 81.94m in Doha, warmed up for Rome, due on June 8, well when he retained his title with a throw of 78.40, beating guest Leonard Ng'etich (58.36) and his brother Henry Yego (57.41).

"My left leg is yet to get the rhythm I want but we shall slowly get there," said Yego.

"I almost lost my technique after Rio Olympics but I am slowly regaining my balance."

Manangoi, who was fresh from winning his Diamond League 1,500m race in Doha with a world lead time of 3:31.90, turned on the style to claim the 800m race in 1:44.8, beating Justus Koech (1:45.0) and Job Kinyor (1:45.2) to second and third spots respectively.

Emily Cherotich edged out World Relays 4x800m teammate Eglay Nalianya in the 800m in 2:03.5 against 2:04.7.

Rono laid his case bare on his intentions to join the forces in front of Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, when he won the second 10,000m final in 28:10.1.

Peter Kirui, who won the first 10,000m final in 28:29.3, was placed second overall after he beat former international Matthew Kisorio to second in 28:31.4.


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