Champions for five events as contest begins
Posted Tuesday, June 26 2012 at 19:19
- Kenya’s title defence begins in Porto Novo today as several athletes line up for medal battle
Kenya field in five events as they start their Africa Championships title defence in the continental athletics extravaganza that gets under way on Wednesday in Porto Novo, Benin.
With the men’s 10,000m champion Wilson Kiprop taking his battle to next level at month’s London Olympic Games, the honour of delivery victory again is bestowed on national champion Kenneth Kipkemoi and Lewis Mosoti.
Kipkemoi and Mosoti’s race is the last on today’s card at Kenyan time 9.15pm.
The Kenyans strongest opposition will be mainly from the double Commonwalth games champion, Moses Kipsiro of Uganda, who won silver at the 2010 Championship held in Nairobi. Kipsiro, who is also the 2007/2011 All Africa Games 5,000m winner will double in 5,000m. The Kenyans should also be wary of the Ethiopian athletes in the race.
Antony Chemut, who last weekend qualified in Kenya’s 800m squad for the London Summer Games is all out but to sharpen his skills in the two-lap race that gets under way with teh first round 7.50pm. Out to back up Chemut for Kenya’s quest to retain the title are 2010 Commonwealth Games 800m silver medallist Richard Kiplagat and Cornelius Kiplagat. The reiging champion David Rudisha, who is also the World champion and record holder is focusing on the London assignment.
Consequently, national champion and record holder Lisa Oseso (60.80) and Lucy Omondi will field in the women’s Hammer final starting 7.45pm. They are up against defending champion and Africa record holder Senegalese Amy Sène (68.48).
Attain Olympic time
Kenya’s 4x400m might have qualified for the London Olympics but some of the probables in the team, 2010 Commonwealth Games champion Mark Mutai, national champion Vincent Mumo and Boniface Mweresa are in Benin hoping to attain the 400m flat Olympic time of 45.25.
“We expect them to excel and clock Olympic time alongside other sprinters,” said Athletics Kenya public relations officer Peter Angwenyi. “They will later be defending their Africa 4x400m relay title.”
Also expected to perfom well and post Olympic time is the national 400m champion Joyce Zakari alongside Catherine Nandi and Grace Kidake in the one-lap race that start with the first round at 6.35pm followed by the men’s first round at 7pm.
Vincent Kosgei (49.49), who has already attained A Standard time of Olympic Games (49.80) is out to polish his act ahead of London in the 400m hurdles first round at 6.10pm. Also in the race is national champion Boniface Mucheru.
Sprinters Ibrahim Muya (10.29), Tony Chirchir and Emmanuel Letunkunye will be the first Kenyans off the blocks in the 100m first round at 11.15pm as they aim for Olympics time of 10.18/10.24.