What you need to know:
- Imperious African Games 5,000m champion Lilian Kasait also sealed a double, winning the women's 1,500m final, a day after capturing the 5,000m crown at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
- At the same time, two-time Africa race walk champion Samuel Gathimba also kept the title in his specialty as Sammy Rugut and Gladys Ngure retained their 400m hurdles titles as well as 110mh and 100mh honours respectively.
Chicago Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’tich and sprinters Dan Kiviasi and Esther Mbagari easily retained their respective titles as the Kenya Prisons Service Athletics Championships ended in Nairobi on Saturday.
Imperious African Games 5,000m champion Lilian Kasait also sealed a double, winning the women's 1,500m final, a day after capturing the 5,000m crown at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
At the same time, two-time Africa race walk champion Samuel Gathimba also kept the title in his specialty as Sammy Rugut and Gladys Ngure retained their 400m hurdles titles as well as 110mh and 100mh honours respectively.
Chepng’etich, the 2019 world marathon champion, led from gun-to-tape, winning in 32 minutes and 52.70 seconds, beating Visiline Jepkesho to second place in 33:32.1 as Sheila Chepkirui settled third in 33:48.8.
“I was warming up my body, having just resumed training last week since taking a break after participating in the Istanbul Half Marathon last month,” said Chepng’etich, who finished second at the Istanbul Half Marathon in 1:07:18 in Turkey on April 30.
Chepng’etich had on March 12 retained her Nagoya Marathon title in Japan.
“The race came out well and for sure I am ready for the nationals,” said the 28-year-old Chepng’etich, who is ready to defend her 10,000m title come the Athletics Kenya National Championships scheduled for June 22 to 24 at Kasarani.
However, Chepng’etich said she will decide whether she will take a shot at the world title or defend her Chicago Marathon title in the enxt two weeks.
“Let me defend my national title first before I can decide,” said Chepng’etich.
The World Athletics Championships are set for August 19 to 27 in Budapest, Hungary while this year’s Chicago Marathon is on October 8 in the American city.
Chepng’etich claimed her maiden world marathon title after clocking 2:32:43 to win in 2019 Doha but failed to defend the crown last year in Oregon when she dropped out mid-race with stomach problems.
Chepng’etich retained her Chicago Marathon title last year in 2:14:18, missing the women’s marathon world record by 14 seconds.
Mbagari, 22, defended both her 100m and 200m titles before requesting for employment at the Kenya Prisons Services.
Mbagari clocked 11.8 seconds to win the 100m final before sealing the double with a time of 24.3 in 200m.
“Of course I will be happy if I am to get a chance to join Kenya Prisons officially since this is the second time I am winning here,” said Mbagari.
Kiviasi, the Africa 4x100m champion, shook off a stiff challenge from Hesbon Ochieng, timing 10.4 to win the 100m final as Ochieng settled second in 10.6.
It was the same script in the 200m final with Kiviasi winning in 21.5 as Ochieng timed 21.8.
Kasait eaesd home in 4:12.5 to bag the 1,500m honours as Boaz Kiprugut kept his 1,500m crown in 3:47.5 while Gathimba romped home in 40:27.6 to win the men's 10km race walk with Elizabeth Loduni going for women's accolade in 57:53.9.