Form Four student Rono lights up Nyayo meet

Gideon Rono wins the men's 5,000m race during the first leg of the Athletics Kenya Track and Field Meeting at the Nyayo National Stadium on February 28, 2021.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Athletics Kenya director in charge of competitions, Paul Mutwii, disclosed that the dates for the two events still remain the same.
  • "We have realised that we shall face logistical challenges having these events outside Nairobi," said Mutwii.
  • "We want to use electronic timings so as to give opur athletes the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics."

Youngster Gideon Rono from Torongo destroyed the experienced Rogers Kwemoi and Daniel Simiu to win the men's 5,000m race as the first leg of Athletics Kenya Track and Field Meeting ended Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The national 400m record holder Hellen Syombua glided to victory in the women’s 400m in 53.72 as Zablom Ekwam clocked 45.65 to win the men's corresponding race.

National 100m champion Fernand Omanyala held off USA-based Moffat Wanjiru to win the men’s 100m in 10.19 seconds as Doreen Waka proved untouchable in thw women’s race, winning in 11.82.

Maximilla Imali cracked 24.12 to claim the women’s 200m win as Mark Kang’ethe timed 21.41 to reign in the men's final.

Tokyo Olympics-bound Samuel Gathimba and Emily Ngii won the men and women’s 10km race walk in 42:03.8 and 51:08.5 respectively. 

Kwemoi, who had won the National Cross Country Championships senior men’s title a fortnight ago, hit the front with three laps to go with Simiu and Rono in hot pursuit under the sunny morning at the Nyayo National Stadium.

However, Rono, who won the men's Under-20 title during the national cross country, sprung to the lead with two laps to go in the second heat of the men’s 5,000m race. 

Kwemoi, the 2016 World Under-20 10,000m champion, and Simiu would give a ferocious chase, but their efforts proved futile as Rono, who had opened a considerable gap, triumphed in 13 minutes and 21.2 seconds.

The heat was the fastest among the three, producing four fastest times with Kwemoi coming in second at 13:21.8, followed by Simiu (13:29.6) and Michael Kibet (13:36.6).

World Under-20 5,000m silver medallist Stanley Waithaka won the third heat in 5,000m in the fifth fastest time of 13:43.7, while Emmanuel Kiprop claimed the first heat in 13:57.3.

“I had prepared well for this race. I knew I was up against a strong field with Kwemoi and Simiu in the mix, but eventually won the psychological battle. I wasn’t worried when they hit the front,” said Rono, the Form four student at Sinonin, Baringo County.

Daisy Cherotich pulled away with three laps to go to win the women's 10,000m in 32:19.1 as Everyline Chirchir and Joyce Chepkemoi settled for second and third in 32:37.9 and 32:58.8 respectively.

Lydia Jeruto walked away with the women's 1,500m title in 4:23.4, while Abraham Kipsang claimed the men's 1,500m in 3:36.3.

Meanwhile, the second and third legs of the Athletics Kenya Track and Field Meetings have all been moved to Nairobi.

The second leg was to be staged on March 12 to 13 at the Kinoru Stadium, Embu while Mumias Complex was to host the third and final leg on April 2 and 3.

Athletics Kenya director in charge of competitions, Paul Mutwii, disclosed that the dates for the two events still remain the same.

"We have realised that we shall face logistical challenges having these events outside Nairobi," said Mutwii.

"We want to use electronic timings so as to give opur athletes the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics."

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