Rotich warns world champ Brazier ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Ferguson Rotich (left) competes with Wycliffe Kinyamal in the 800m race

Ferguson Rotich (left) competes with Wycliffe Kinyamal in the 800m race during third Athletics Kenya Relay Series at Nyayo National Stadium on February 6, 2021.


Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Rotich (Golazo) affirmed, who the two-lap king is with an impressive one minute and 45.64 seconds as he waved to appreciate the cheering fans, relegating Kinyamal (Kaptagat) to second place in 1:46.09
  • Rotich disclosed that training has picked up well having opted to start preparations early this time around unlike previous seasons
  • After the third leg, the athletes now will turn their focus to World Relay Championships national trials due March 26 to 27 at Nyayo National Stadium

World 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich destroyed Commonwealth 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal to win the men's 800m during the third and final leg of Athletics Kenya Relay Series at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.

Rotich (Golazo) affirmed, who the two-lap king is with an impressive one minute and 45.64 seconds as he waved to appreciate the cheering fans, relegating Kinyamal (Kaptagat) to second place in 1:46.09.

Abel Kipsang from Ngong settled third in 1:46.36 with 2011 Africa Junior 800m silver medallist Jeremiah Mutai coming fourth in 1:47.27 in third heat.

“It felt good to win with such a good time and I had to appreciate my fans after I had seen their reaction,” said Rotich, who declared war against the reigning World 800m champion Donavan Brazier from United States ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games.

Rotich disclosed that training has picked up well having opted to start preparations early this time around unlike previous seasons.

“I started preparations in December unlike before when I delayed to January since I am not an Indoor championships athlete,” said Rotich, who besides targeting Olympics glory after finishing fifth at 2016 Rio Summer Games, wants to lower his personal best to sub 1:42.

Rotich boasts personal best 1:42.54 from the 2019 Monaco Diamond League. “I feel in better shape than before and I want to see how it goes this year. I want to run 1:41 perhaps in Monaco this year,” said Rotich, 31, who is eager to compete in 2x2x 400m at the World Relays.

'Sweet wine'

After the third leg, the athletes now will turn their focus to World Relay Championships national trials due March 26 to 27 at Nyayo National Stadium.

The World Relays are due May 1 to 2 in Silesia, Poland.

“I am like that good sweet wine that matures with age. I can’t tell you that I will retire soon. In fact, I am focusing on Tokyo and the 2024 Paris Olympics,” said Rotich. “You see, the secret is to feed well and train well.”

Jonathan Kitilit from Kenya Defence Forces clocked 1:48.902 to win the first heat, Ngong’s Leny Lokitash won the second heat in 1:49.69 while Kipng’etich Ng’eno claimed the third in 1:47.54.

The reigning Continental 1,500m champion Winny Chebet (KDF) cracked an impressive 2:03.72 for the fastest time in women’s 800m to beat national 400m champion Mary Moraa (individual) to second place in the second fastest time of 2:04.32. Mueni Karimi from Ngong returned third best time of 2:08.16.

However, Moraa sparkled in 400m, returning the best time in the Series of 52.63 as Gladys Musyoki (Police) glided to the second best time of 54.65. Anne Mbatha (Ndura) timed 55.52 for third with Sylvia Chesebe (Prisons) clocking 55.60 for fourth place.

Zablon Ekwam (Ndura) won the men's 400m, posting the fastest time of 45.97 as Emmanuel Mutua (Southern) and William Ryan (Police) came in second and third in 46.35 and 46.63 respectively.

Maximilla Imali (Police) clocked 24.54sec for women's fastest time in 200m as Tazan Kamanga (TKD) returned the fastest time in men's race in 20.71 with Mark Otieno bringing second fastest in 20.86.

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