Monica Chirchir from Elgeyo Marakwet took the 10000m title in the women’s race as the third Athletics Kenya Field and Track competition kicked off on Friday at the Narok Stadium.
Chirchir clocked 33:15.0 ahead of Gladys Koech who finished second in 33:28.0 while the 2017 World Cross Country champion Irene Cheptai came in third in 33:41.3.
A pack of six athletes were locked in a tough battle in the earlier stages of the race with Chirchir breaking from the group with eight laps to go but Koech and Cheptai were closing in on her but she proved too strong as held on to win the race.
The 21 year old Chirchir said she was ready to clinch the win after coming in second at the second meet held in Mumias two weeks ago with a focus on earning a ticket for the World championships her main target.
“I had prepared well to win this race and although the pace was a bit slower I had planned to push with seven laps to go which went according to plan,” said Chirchir.
Cheptai who also hails from Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County said she was contend with a third-place finish as she is making a comeback after maternity break.
“I am satisfied to have finished third in this race, I feel I am on the right track as I resume competitive action,” said Cheptai.
World 1500m Elijah Manangoi made a rare appearance in the 5000m heats at his home County.
“Although I may have intentions of competing in this race later in my career, today I decided to compete in 5k in order to work on my endurance as you know I have a busy schedule on Diamond League,” averred Manangoi.
The Commonwealth Games champion also disclosed that his focus is on lowering his Personal Best with a ticket to World Championships also a top priority.
Manangoi younger brother George-the World Under 20 1500m champion ran the show comfortably winning his heat beating World Under-20 3000m steeplechase silver medalist Leonard Kipkemoi Bett to the second place.
In the women 1500m heats, Sera Jepleting (4:18.3) and Qualyne Kiprop (4:21.7) won their respective heats to qualify for the first finals set for tomorrow.
Daniel Munguti, Stephen Kipkoech, Shadrack Keter, Boaz Kiprugut and James Tenai all emerged victorious in their respective heats to storm to the tomorrow’s final.
Damacline Nyakiruri emerged the winner in the women’s Javelin after managing a throw of 48.82m with Dorothy Chepngetich (44.82m) and Salome Orenge (44.53) finishing second and third respectively.
Other races competed in today albeit in the preliminary stages include 400m, 100m, 800m both men and women.
Being the last leg of Track and Field this season, a huge turnout of athletes was witnessed with the trials for the All Africa Games around the corner.
On the same breath, AK has announced that athletes will earn invitation for the continental championships slated for June 20-21 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
“We will be inviting only those athletes that will have it the qualifying standards of each and every event,” disclosed AK senior Vice-president in charge of competition Paul Mutwii.
The two-day event will conclude on Saturday.