19 June 2004Nairobi, KenyaWith the exception of the men’s 10,000m there were no upsets recorded on the final day of the Kenyan national championships at the Moi International Sports Centre in the outskirts of the capital, today. Also, most Athens Olympics qualifying standards once again proved unreachable despite ideal weather conditions.
Kamathi - more to come at the Olympic trials
2001 World 10,000 metres champion Charles Kamathi won the 5000 metres finals with a combined display of guts and patience. In the absence of many top runners who are preparing for next weekend’s Olympics trials, a good time or Athens Olympics qualifying time was not part of the agenda, and although running in one tight pack, nobody took the initiative.
Kamathi who finished second in the semi-final remained with the leading pack, always within striking distance but not very visible until the final lap when he moved to the front and started his attack from 200m out. He went on to win in 13:45.7 which was markedly slower than Augustine Choge's 13:29.0 clocked to win the national junior title on Wednesday (16 June).
Julius Kiptoo finished second in 13:46.8 with Kiprono Menjo coming in third in 13:48.7, as Benjamin Maiyo faded to fifth.
Commenting on the slow pace, Kamathi said everybody was remaining uptight until the Athens Olympics trials and the nationals were simply a prelude to the real drama which lay ahead next weekend.
Abraham Cherono's win as expected
The 3000m Steeplechase also went according to expectations with pre-event favourite Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Abraham Cherono of the Armed Forces emerging victorious in 8:24.1. Cherono paced himself well and was not in a hurry to take the initiative which was left to eventual second
placed Luke Kibet who led until the last 200m before being overtaken.
Kibet was not very comfortable with former World champion Wilson Boit Kipketer running close behind and increased the pace at the last hurdle to take second in 8:25.4.
Korir and Ivuti surprised
The 10,000m final was not a very impressive race. In a surprise turn of events Kibet Yegon beat former Kenyan champion John Korir and twice World cross country championships silver medallist Patrick Ivuti. Like the 5000m his time of 28:22.4 was slower than the 28:19.1 Moses Masai had clocked in the junior championships.
Chebii - last minute withdrawal
Pre-race favourite Abraham Chebii withdrew from the 1500 metres final at the last minute race without offering any reason. In his absence, Evans Ndung'u of Central came from behind to upset a fast fading Michael Ndhiwa of Police clocking 3:42.1. Behind him, Churchill Kipsang of Armed Forces managed to move to second (3:42.4) followed by Ndhiwa (3:42.7).
Women – Masai wins 1500m
World 5000m bronze medallist Edith Masai was forced to sprint to the finish and overhaul Nancy Kibet with 20m to go and win the women’s 1500m in 4:18.6. Kibet had apparently started her charge too early and her earlier tussle with Jeruto Kiptum and Pamela Kichoge having taken a heavy toll on her strength come the last few metres. She clocked 4:19.2.
Peter Njenga (Daily Nation) for the IAAF
1: Ezra Sambu, Police, 45.31
2: Vincent Mumo, Armed Forces, 45.85
3: George Kwoba, Police, 46.09
4: Sammy Rono, Armed Forces, 46.41.
1: Muengi Mutua, Armed Forces, 1:47.07
2: Justus Koech, Armed Forces, 1:47.17
3: Michael Rotich, Armed Forces, 1:47:29
4: Alfred Kiprotich, South Rift, 1:48.10
1: Evans Ndung'u Central 3:42.1
2: Churchill Kipsang, Armed Forces, 3:42.4
3: Michael Ndhiwa, Police, 3:42.7
4: Nicholas Kurgat, North Rift, 3:43.5
1: Charles Kamathi, Police, 13:45.7
2: Julius Kiptoo, North Rift, 13:46.8
3: KIprono Menjo, Nairobi, 13:48.7
4: William Chebon, Armed Forces, 13:50.0
1: Kibet Yegon, South Rift, 28:22.3
2: John Korir, Armed Forces, 28:23.0
3: Patrick Ivuti, Armed, 28:24.6
4: John Kiprono, Prisons, 28:25.0
1Abraham Cherono, Armed Forces, 8:24.1
2: Luke Kibet, Prisons, 8:25.4
3: Wesley Kiprotich, Armed Forces, 8:26.2
4: David Langat, Nyanza South, 8:28.0
1: Josephine Nyarunda, Armed Forces, 53.84
2: Annette Mwanzi, Prisons, 54.06
3: Elizabeth Muthoka, Prisons, 55.05
4: Elizabeth Muthoka, Prisons, 55.46
1: Charity Wandia, Armed Forces, 2:04.2
2: Caroline Chepkwony, North Rift, 2:05.0
3: Jecinta Wambui, Armed Forces, 2:05.9
4: Hellen Juma, Coast, 2:07.4
1: Edith Masai, Prisons, 4:18.6
2: Nancy Chebet, Nairobi, 4:19.2
3: Jeruto Kiptum, Armed Forces, 4:19.3
4: Pamela Kipchoge, North Rift, 4:20.1
1: Salome Chepchumba, North, 9:58.5
2: Irene Limika, Armed Forces, 10:01.4
3: Eunice Kirwa,Armed Forces, 10:19.2
4: Charity Kiprono, North Rift, 10:26.8