What you need to know:
- Kenya names team on Saturday as curtain falls on championship
- Athlete sets sights on U-20 women’s 5,000m title after destroying opponents in Kenyan trials
Maureen Cherotich from South Rift is a girl on a mission at the 2020 World Athletics Under-20 Championships due August 17 to 22 at the Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani.
After employing a deadly kick to destroy Zena Jeptoo from Central Rift a in the last 300 metres to win women’s 5,000m race on Friday at Kasarani, Cherotich is now looking to succeed reigning world under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet.
Cherotich, who trailed Zena Jeptoo at the bell, tactically waited until the last 300ms to swiftly take command and win in 15 minutes and 44.00 seconds.
Jeptoo came second in 15:46.20, and will partner Cherotich in Team Kenya for the World Under-20 Athletics Championships.
Another final awaits Cherotich in women’s 1,500m today but a rule by World Athletics which forbids junior athletes from doubling up in middle and long races could lock her out of competing in two events. Such athletes can only compete in sprints and field events.
“I realised Zena had slowed down, so I sprinted past her to also test my finishing speed. I feel great, although I still need more polishing. It feels good to qualify to represent Kenya again," said Cherotich, who finished fourth in 1,500m in the 2018 Africa Junior Championship.
“She is stronger in 5,000m and has better prospects of winning gold in that race than in 1,500m. We shall advise her to focus on the long distance event,” Cherotich’s coach, Kibet Ng’etich, said.
“I slowed down due to pain in my leg after I was spiked during the race. However, it was a good race and I am happy to have controlled it,” said Jeptoo, who sat her Form Four exams at Riruta High School, Nairobi, in April.
Peter Kithome and Agnes Ngumbi from Southern displayed their artistry in hurdles, winning the men’s and women’s 400m hurdles finals in 51.53 and 1:00.75 respectively.
Herritone Wanyonyi from North Rift and Nyanza South’s Margaret Gati qualified for the world junior event after clocking 42:47.5 and 48:43.9 respectively to win the men and women’s 10km race walk.
Dominic Kiprotich and Maureen Milka claimed the tickets in men’s and women’s shot put with throws of 14.05m and 11.38m respectively to also qualify for the world competition.
Zeddy Chesire is looking forward to competing in women’s long jump after winning in 5.41m. On Thursday, Chesire also won the women’s High jump.
In men’s race walk, three athletes hit the qualifying standard of 50:30.00. Wanyonyi beat Keyborn Obato from Nyanza South in 45:55.5, while Nairobi’s Dominic Mwendwa came third in 49:51.4. However, only Wanyonyi and Obato are expected to get the nod.
Gati clocked 48:43.9 to win the women’s race ahead of his teammate Salomen Kerubo (55:37.9).
Kithome beat Central Rift’s Allocious Kipng’etich to second place in 52.69 as the duo surpassed the qualifying standards of 53.10.