The sensation of the national cross country season Sammy Kitwara won the 10,000 metres with ease and World Junior 5000m bronze medallist Mary Wacera Ngugi upstaged her better known compatriots on the first day of the Kenya Police Provincial Championships today (6) at the Moi International Sports Centre track.
Kitwara who recorded five cross victories this season ran away from the rest of the field from mid-stage and this only rival was the clock which he stopped at 28:18.2 seconds. "I am training hard for the Beijing Olympics trials and today's victory is part of my preparations," said Kitwara.
Bernard Kipyego in a distant second posted 28:30.2, with Daniel Kipkenei came in third in 28:31.5.
In one of the men’s 1500m semi-final, 2007 World Junior Cross Country champion Asbel Kiprop, who finished fourth in the World championships final at 1500m in Osaka was expected to win but he was chased all the way to the wire by Vickson Polonet showing that Saturday's final (7) will be a closely contested event.
Kiprop muscled his way to the tape in a sprint finish to post 3:45.0 with Polonet marginally behind in 3:45.2. Moses Masai also lost in the sprint to clock 3:45.5.
The women’s 5000m was also hotly contested after Mary Wacera Ngugi and cross country runner Jebichi Yator engaged each other on the home stretch and were head to head until the tape when Wacera dipped first to win in 16:12.6 and Yator clocked 16:12.8.
Earlier in the race, 2007 World Junior Cross Country champion Pauline Korikwiang and road racing ace Hellen Nzembi had shown a lot of fighting spirit but failed to live up to expectations in the final lap. Korkiwiang faded to fifth followed by Nzembi.
Action continues tomorrow.
Peter Njenga for the IAAF
1: Sammy Kitwara GSU, 28:18.2
2: Bernard Kipyego, Kapu, 28:30.2
3: Daniel Kipkenei, Nyanza, 28:31.5
4: Wilsey Kipsang, NE, 28:31.5
5: Nicholas Kamakya, CID, 28:42.3
1: Mary Wacera, Railways, 16:12.6
2: Jebihi Yator, Railways, 16:12.8
3: Joyce Wanjiku, Traffic, 16:16.7
4: Antonina Ruto, Kapu, 16:19.5
5: Pauline Korkwiang, Kpc, 16:21.1
6: Hellen Nzembi, Eastern, 17:20.0