Pamela Jelimo (r) leading Janeth Jepkosgei at the Kenyan Olympic Trials (Ricky Simms) © Copyright
General News Nairobi, Kenya

Kenyan Beijing squad announced as trials conclude in Nairobi

Action galore marked the end of the Kenyan trials for the Beijing Olympics with some athletes replicating their international circuit rivarily infront of an estimated 15,000 spectators and more millions who were following the action at the Nyayo National Stadium on live television coverage produced by three national broadcasters today.

In the end, 36 athletes made the grade with notable upsets recorded.

Kemboi v. the rest

Defending Olympic 3000m Steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi romped to victory in one of the closest races of the day and vowed that he will return home with his Olympics gold.

"The medal will not leave Kenya and I will ensure this at every cost," said Kemboi who strode to victory in 8 minutes 13.56 seconds after clearing the last water jump when leader Paul Kipsiele Koech was tripped and lost his momenum.

Kemboi seized the opportunity by moving to the lead. Behind him, World champion Brimin Kipruto who was in fourth 200m from the finish, mounted a comeback and managed to overtake Kipsiele to set his sight on Richard Matelong whom he pipped close to the finish to record 8:13.60. Matelong clocked 8:13.89.

Kipsiele cried foul, saying he was destined to victory. He however took his misfortunes in stride. "I now have to move on with my athletics career," he said.

Edwin Cheruiyot Soi won the 5000m race which was teeming with talent and experience in a sprint which he initiated from the 300m mark when he ran away clear from former World champion Eliud Kipchoge and Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa to stop the clock at 13:29.5. Kipchoge was happy with his position as his intention was to make an automatic place in the team. He clocked 13:32.4 with Longosiwa posting 13:34.1.

Bungei's party

Former World 800m indoor champion Wilfred Bungei who missed a title defence early this year due to injury was the master tactician today. After a fast 51-second opening lap, Bungei moved into the lead but was briefly challenged with 200m to go but held position all the way. He clocked 1:45.06.

"Obviously I was racing against younger runners and this was a career defining moment," said Bungei.

"I am happy that I am going to the Olympics and would like to leave the centre stage with my head high. Now the tough part begins."

Bungei ensured that winner of the semi-final Boaz Kiplagat Lalang would not deny him as everything went according to plan. Lalang in second posted 1:45.21 followed by World champion Alfred Kirwa in 1:45.49. He was however given a wild card.

Jelimo over Jepkosgei

After yesterday, Kenyans were left with the task of coining a winning name for Pamela Jelimo who ran 1:57.71, the fastest time ever on Kenyan soil, in a solo last lap effort which brought the crowd on its feet.

Charity Wandia had opened the pace but briefly before Jelimo, also Africa champion and world leader this year, moved to her rightful place followed by World champion Janeth Jepkosgei, fondly known as the "Eldoret Express".

By the time they negotiated the third corner it was obvious Jelimo's intentions was to win clean, by far.

"I want to thank my coaches for the wonderful work they have done in preparing me for this race and I was not taking any chances," said Jelimo, this year the new athletics find from Kenya.

World champion Jepkosgei, who clocked 2:00.90, saluted her rival. "Pamela deserved to win today and in training I am sure we are capable of doing well in the Olympics. My intentions though were to qualify," she added.

Muthuka's star continues to rise

Until last month, Elizabeth Muthuka was just another struggling athlete but in the last one week, she has broken the Kenyan 400m record which stood for 24 year twice. Yesterday she clocked 50.82 to become the first Kenyan in 24 years to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Kenyan Beijing team Announced

Following the conclusion of the Trials, Athletics Kenya released the final list of 37 athletes who will compete in the Beijing Summer Olympics, as Irene Jelegat was given until July 23 to attain a qualifying mark in the 1500m despite winning in 4:12.70 seconds.

Linet Masai, whose brother Moses Masai won the 10,000m race, was included in the Olympics squad despite failing to compete yesterday due to injury. She will join Commonwealth Games champion Lucy Kabuu and national Cross Country champion Grace Momany in the 10,000m.

The federation also named the Marathon team led by London Marathon champion Martin Lel, Robert Cheruiyot and Sammy Wanjiru.
World champion Catherine Ndereba, Martha Komu and Selina Kosgei compose the women's team.

The team enters into residential training camp at the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi on Monday.

Peter Njenga for the IAAF

Kenyan team for the 2008 Summer Olympics -

MEN -
400m
 1. Vincent Mumo

800m
 1. Wilfred Bungei
 2. Boaz Kiplagat Lalang
 3. Alfred Kirwa Yego

1500m
 1. Augustine Choge
 2. Asbel Kiprop
 3. Nicholas Kemboi

5000m
 1. Edwin Soi
 2. Eliud Kipchoge
 3. Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa

10,000m
 1. Moses Masai
 2. Martin Mathathi
 3. Micah Kogo

3000m Steeplechase
 1. Ezekiel Kemboi
 2. Brimin Kipruto
 3. Richard Matelong
 
Marathon
 1. Martin Lel
 2. Samuel Wanjiru
 3. Robert Cheruiyot

20km Race walk
 1. David Kimutai

WOMEN -

400m
 1. Elizabeth Muthuka

800m
 1. Pamel Jelimo
 2. Janeth Jepkosgei
 3. Josephine Nyarunda

1500m
 1. Viola Kibiwott
 2. Nanacy Jebet Langat

5000m
 1. Priscah Jepleting
 2. Sylvia Jebiwott kibet
 3. Vivian Cheruiyot

10,000m
1. Lucy Wangui Kabuu
2. Linet Masai
3. Grace Momanyi

3000m steeplechase
1. Ruth Bosibori
2. Eunice Jepkorir
3. Veronica Nyaruai

Marathon
 1. Catherine Ndereba
 2. Martha Komu
 3. Selina Kosgei

- Officials -
Team manager - Joseph Kinyua
Assistant - David Kilundo
Assistant - jane Toroitich

Coaches
Julius Kirwa
Peter Mathu
David leting
James Mutysa


Leading Results, Kenyan Olympic Trials  -
MEN -
400m
 1. Vincent Mumo, 45.31
 2. Thomas Musembi, 45.79
 3. Mark Mutai, 45.85
 4. Ezra Sambu, 46.40
 5. Geoffrey Ngeno, 46.57
 6. George Kwoba, 46.77
 7. Benson Kirui, 48.17

800m
 1. Wilfred Bungei, 1:45.08
 2. Boaz Kiplagat Lalang, 1:45.21
 3. Alfred Kirwa Yego, 1:45.49
 4. Jackson Kivuva, 1:45.66
 5. Ismael Kombich, 1:45.99
 6. Justus Koech, 1:46.17
 7. Edwin Letting, 1:46.79
 8. Alex Kipchirchir, 1:48.17

1500m
 1. Augustine Choge, 3:36.41
 2. Asbel Kiprop, 3:36.53
 3. Nicholas Kemboi, 3:36.66
 4. Harun Keitany, 3:37.78
 5. Gideon Gathimba, 3:37.98
 6. Shadrack Kibet Korir, 3:38.13
 7. Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, 3:38.90
 8. Geoffrey Kipkoech Rono, 3:40.60
 9. Suleiman Simotwo, 3:40.75

5000m
 1. Edwin Soi, 13:29.5
 2. Eliud Kipchoge, 13:32.4
 3. Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa, 13:34.1
 4. Boniface Songok, 13:38.1
 5. Isaac Kiprono Songok, 13:40.0
 6. Abraham Chebii, 13:41.0
 7. Silas Kipruto, 13:47.0
 8. Vincent Kiprop Chepkok, 13:47.4

10,000m
 1. Moses Ndiema Masai, 28:02.03
 2. Martin Mathathi, 28:03.95
 3. Micah Kogo, 28:08.92
 4. Mark Kosgei, 28:10.05
 5. Sammy Kitwara, 28:12.26
 6. John Cheruiyot Korir, 28:31.94
 7. Josephat Ndambiri, 28:32.29
 8. Sammy Kipketer, 28:35.98
 9. Geoffrey Mutai, 28:38.55

3000m steeplechase
 1. Ezekiel Kemboi, 8:13.56
 2. Brimin Kipruto, 8:13.60
 3. Richard Matelong, 8:13.89
 4. Paul Kipsiele Koech, 8:13.98
 5. Michael Kipyego, 8:19.31
 6. Patrick Langat, 8:25.29
 7. Linus Chumba, 8:31.47
 8. Reuben Kosgei, 8:33.22
 9. Elijah Chelimo, 8:38.18

WOMEN -
400m
 1. Elizabeth Muthuka, 50.82 NR
 2. Joy Zakary, 52.41
 3. Justine Bayigga, 52.81 (Uganda)
 4. Zipporah Ratemo, 56.15
 5. Betty Chelangat, 56.55

800m
 1. Pamel Jelimo, 1:57.71
 2. Janeth Jepkosgei, 2:00.90
 3. Charity Wandia, 2:03.81
 4. Jane Jelagat, 2:05.70
 5. Milka Wamaitha, 2:07.91
 6. Silvia Chesebe, 2:08.46
 7. Milka Chemos, 2:09.59
 8. Annet Mwanzia, 2:10.20
 9. Josephine Nyarunda, 2:14.66

1500m
 1. Irene Jelagat, 4:12.70
 2. Viola Kibiwott, 4:13.01
 3. Nanacy Jebet Langat, 4:14.09
 4. Anne Karindi, 4:19.68
 5. Margaret Wangare, 4:21.37
 6. Sammary Cherotich, 4:35.91

5000m
 1. Priscah Jepleting, 15:32.66
 2. Lucy Kabuu, 15:35.09
 3. Sylvia Jebiwott kibet, 15:37.07
 4. Vivian Cheruiyot, 15:42.39
 5. Penina Chepchumba, 15:42.39
 6. Beatrice Chepngeno, 16:05.10
 7. Pauline Korikwiang, 16:17.99

3000m steeplechase
 1. Ruth Bosibori, 9:48.78
 2. Eunice Jepkorir, 9:51.28
 3. Mercy Njoroge, 10:06.94
 4. Regina Jerotich, 10:12.06
 5. Veronica Nyaruai, 10:22.22
 6. Lydia Jebet, 10:23.55
 7. Irene Limika, 10:23.59
 8. Purity Cherotich, 10:30.97
 9. Zeddy Chelangat, 10:40.08