The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Ugandan athletes left an impression as the fourth National Bank of Kenya/Athletics Kenya weekend meeting wrapped up on Saturday (30 April).
Proximity to the Kenyan western town of Mumias saw Uganda Athletics send 16 runners in their preparations for the summer’s IAAF World Championships in Daegu and their main attraction, Anney Nekesa, the World Junior bronze winner, delivered victory in the women’s 800m race.
The two-day meet that gunned off on Friday was skipped by many established Kenyan names, who are preparing for the start of the Samsung Diamond League, but fans were treated to some exciting clashes especially in the men’s 10,000m where John Kemboi, 19, upset Africa Cross Country champion John Mwangangi.
There was also a first defeat in three years for Grace Wanjiru, Africa titleholder and record holder in Race walking by Emily Ngii, who has played bridesmaid in the last seven domestic head-to-heads.
Mid and long distances
Nekesa, who won took bronze at the Moncton World Juniors last year, edged out hard chasing Lydia Nafula to claim Uganda’s rare victory in Kenyan soil in 2:05.2. Nafula, who was spurred on by the home crowd dipped in 2:05.4 with Sheila Jesang (2:07.0) a further third in the women 800m.
The men’s race was taken by Timothy Kiptum in 1:48.2 as Anthony Chemut (1:48.5) and Edwin Kiplagat (1:48.7) trailed the winner to the podium. Preparing for next Friday’s Samsung Diamond League opener in Doha, Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop clocked a quick 1:46.5 in his heat on Friday.
Benson Kiplagat (3:44.4) prevailed over Elijah Kipchirchir (3:45.1) and James Tenai (3:45.4) in the men’s 1500m as Regina Jerotich (4:25.3) arrived home unchallenged in the women’s event ahead of Juliet Chekwel (4:26.02) and Goreth Jepkoech (4:29.32).
Punta Umbria World Cross Country runner Philemon Yator (13:54.0) was beaten to third in the men’s 5000m scooped by Abraham Kasongor (13:49.2) as Soyekwa Kibet (13:51.7) came second.
Mumias hosted the women’s 3000m Steeplechase for the first time where Punta Umbria junior race seventh finisher and 2009 World Youth 3000m winner, Purity Cherotich succumbed to fourth (10:21.7). Lydia Chepkurui (10:07.9), Regina Cherotich (10:12.8) and Veronica Chepkosgei (10:18.0) filled the podium.
John Kemboi won the final sprint conclusion to the men 10,000m race by fending off the marauding Prisons runner Mwangangi. The winner returned 29:22.2 against the challengers 29:22.9 as Anthony Maritim checked in distant third in 29:34.8.
Elizabeth Rumokol (33:50.1) broke away to seasoned campaigner Fridah Demongole to take top honours in the women’s race. Demongole was second in 34:47.6 daylights ahead of third placed Hilda Tanui (38:42.5).
Elsewhere – field, sprints and Race Walks
Simon Kimaru (10.7) and Jason Jagongo (21.9) took turns to lead Mike Makomba (10.8/22.1) in the men’s 100m and 200m dashes while the corresponding women’s showdowns saw Rose Indimuli (12.3/24.8) claim the double. Commonwealth Games finalist and national champion, Kipkemoi Soi, failed to spark in the men’s 200, coming home third in 22.2.
Vincent Kosgei clinched the 400m men’s run in 47.7 while African 400m Hurdles silver winner, Maureen Jelagat claimed two victories in the women’s 400m (54.8) and in her specialty (1:01.5).
For two year’s Emily Ngii had seen the back of Africa record holder Grace Wanjiru in domestic women’s Race walking but early Saturday, she turned tables on the thrice continental champion by leading her across the line 2:30:23 against 2:30:24 in a cliff-hanger finish to the women 20km event.
In the absence of three-time Worlds campaigner David Mutai, home athlete, Sylvanus Wekesa (2:03:17) finally posted victory in the men’s event by beating Eric Shikuku (2:06:04). Next stop, Mombasa
Over 1500 athletes took part in the fourth round where Sh300,000 ($3750) was distributed among top finishers. The fifth leg of the series will run in the Coastal town of Mombasa that hosted the 2007 World Cross with focus mainly on the sprints due to the sea level altitude.
Mutwiri Mutuota (Capital FM) for the IAAF
Leading Results ((All performances hand-timed): MEN -
100m 1. Simon Kimaru 10.7 2. Mike Makomba 10.8 3. Colins Mulaa 10.9 4. Stephen Were 11.0 5. Jason Jagongo 11.2
200m 1. Jason Jagongo 21.9 2. Mike Makomba 22.1 3. Kipkemei Soi 22.2 4. Amos Omeka 22.4 5. George Kwoba 22.6
400m 1. Vincent Kosgei 47.7 2. Jeremiah Mutai 47.8 3. Alvas Kishoyan 48.0 4. Levis Wachira 48.9 5. Abraham Sawe 49.1