What you need to know:
- Assistant Inspector General of Police William Yiampoy, a former Africa 800m champion and the 2001 world 10,000m champion Chief Inspector of Police Charles Kamathi are some of former athletes who have risen in the ranks at the police force.
- Yiampoy is the current head of the Presidential Escort Unit (PEU). Others are the Chief Inspector of Police Richard Mateelong, the 2008 Beijing Olympics 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist and 2010 Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase champion.
They have rocked the world of athletics from the Olympic Games, World Athletics Championships, Commonwealth Games, and African Games to the Diamond League series.
In fact, half of Team Kenya athletics members are made of the country’s gallant policemen and women.
That is why the Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships, starting Wednesday at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi, will be the focus as the “men and women in blue” take a break from their normal duties to compete for their regions.
Ranks will be put aside for two days as some of the country’s finest sprinters and distance runners battle at Kenya’s sports cathedral.
It’s interesting how the police athletes have been able to combine their professional duties of enforcing the law and competing at the highest level in the world.
These athletes have been able to serve the nation from some of the remotest places in the country but still manage to train and win medals for the nation.
World and Commonwealth medallists Mary Moraa, Beatrice Chebet, Daniel Simiu, Julius Yego and Wycliffe Kinyamal are some of the big names that will highlight the two-day championships.
Others are the 2013 world 800m champion Eunice Sum, world indoor 1,500m bronze medallist Abel Kipsang and former national 100m champions Monica Safania, Millicent Ndoro and Eunice Kadogo.
Moraa, who graduated from Kenya Police Training College in 2021, works with Administration Police Service’s the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) in Embakasi.
DNation bodytext: Moraa, 22, a Constable, will defend her 800m title against the likes of her senior and former champion Sum, 35, who is a Senior Sergeant based at Kapsabet Police Stations in Nandi County.
Sum has won the police title back-to-back in 2012 to 2016 before winning the Diamond League trophy in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as well as the Commonwealth Games crown in 2014 Glasgow.
Moraa’s reign has just started, having claimed bronze at the world event and gold at the Commonwealth Games last year where she also claimed her maiden Diamond League trophy.
Chebet, Simiu, Kipsang and Kinyamal are all Constables, having passed out from Kenya Police Training College in 2021.
While Chebet is based in Kyufo Police Station, Kitui County, Kipsang is at Itabwa, Embu County where Constable Margaret Chelimo, who will be defending her 10,000m, is also based. Chelimo is the 2019 world 5,00m silver medallist.
Chebet will be out to capture the 5,000m title from the 2013 world 5,000m silver medallist, Kericho-based Sergeant Mercy Cherono, who won’t be defending her crown.
Senior Sergeant Yego, the 2015 world javelin champion and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist, who is based at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters, will be chasing a record 12th police title.
It will be interesting to see how Corporals Safania, who is based at Garissa Police Station, Ndoro (Nakuru Central) and Kadogo (Kiganjo), will face defending champion Maximilla Imali the 100m and 200m respectively. Imali, the Africa 200m silver medallist is a Constable based at DCI.
Commonwealth 3,000m steeplechase champion Abraham Kibiwott hopes to defend his steeplechase honours.
Assistant Inspector General of Police William Yiampoy, a former Africa 800m champion and the 2001 world 10,000m champion Chief Inspector of Police Charles Kamathi are some of former athletes who have risen in the ranks at the police force.
Yiampoy is the current head of the Presidential Escort Unit (PEU). Others are the Chief Inspector of Police Richard Mateelong, the 2008 Beijing Olympics 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist and 2010 Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase champion.