11 June 2018

Kenya: Kipruto, Chebet Seal World U-20 Tickets

Africa Cross Country Under-20 champion Rhonex Kipruto and Beatrice Chebet destroyed their respective fields on Monday to qualify for the World Under-20 Championships due July 10 to 15 in Tampere, Finland.

Kipruto from North Rift, had a field day on the first day of the National trials at Kasarani Stadium, clocking 27 minutes and 49.6 to win the men's 10,000m race.

Central Rift's Solomon Kiplimo settled for second place in 28.18.1 to claim the last qualifying position as South Rift's Victor Kirui came in third in 28:30.3 but fell short of making the team.

"It was an easy one for me and I am glad to make it to the World event," said Kipruto, who promised victory in Tampere.

Kenya's Rogers Kwemoi won the 10,000m title during the previous edition of the World Under-20 Championships held in 2016 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

"I know there is a lot of pressure to have the title remain in Kenya but we shall do our best," said Kipruto, who trains at St Patrick's Iten under veteran coach Colm O'Connell.

Chebet, who represented Kenya in the 3,000m at IAAF World Under-18 Championship last year finishing fourth, sounded a warning to arch-rivals Ethiopia with an explosive victory in the women's 5,000m.

South Rift' s Chebet timed 15:31.66 to triumph, beating teammate Hellen Ekalale by a massive16 seconds.

Japan-based Ekalale clocked 15:46.9 to also qualify for Tampere.

Chebet said she didn't take it lightly after she missed a medal at the World Under-18, finishing fourth in the 3,000m where her compatriot Immaculate Chepkirui won silver.

" I went back to training and concentrated in 5,000m. I'm happy I was able to win but I still have some work to do," said Chebet.

"I will work on my finishing tactics since it will take hard work to get the title from the Ethiopians."

Ekalale, who won bronze in the women's under-20 during the Africa Cross Country Championships, said she will have to improve on her speed to bridge the gap between her and Chebet.

Commonwealth 5,000m bronze medallist Edward Zakayo, World Under-20 5,000m Wesley Ledama and National Cross Country Under-20 champion Stanley Waithaka performed well in their respective 5,000m heats to reach the finals planned for Tuesday.

Zakayo, who entered under Secondary Schools, clocked 13:43.44 to win the first semi-final, beating Samwel Chebolele of Western (13:43.90) as Ledama came in third in 13:49.25.

Waithaka eased to fourth in the second semi in 13:48.74 in race won by Vincent Kibet in 13:45.65, followed by Evans Kiptum (13:47.09) and Vincent Kibet 13:48.43.

World Under-18 400m hurdles silver medallist Moitalel Mpoke (52.31 ), James Mucheru (52.23) and Emmanuel Kipyegon (54.52) won their respective 400m hurdles races to reach the final.

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