Saturday, July 13, 2013

Karoki easily destroys field as Kenya picks its best for Worlds

PHOTO | MOHAMMED AMIN Elite runners compete in the 5000m race during the national trials at Nyayo National Stadium on July 13, 2013.
PHOTO | MOHAMMED AMIN Elite runners compete in the 5000m race during the national trials at Nyayo National Stadium on July 13, 2013.
Road To Moscow: Kenya selects national athletics team
By AYUMBA AYODI sayodi@ke.nationmedia.com

As we boldly predicted in the Saturday Nation, Bedan Karoki was in the form of his life, demolishing the field to win the 10,000m race in the national trials for the 2013 World Athletics Championships at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

Karoki, who was the best-placed Kenyan at the 2012 London Olympics in fifth place, was in impressive form.

He had his act in place to win race in 27:31.61, beating another Japan-based 2011 World Cross silver medallist, Paul  Tanui (27:32.76), who finished 11th at the 2011 Daegu Worlds. Kenneth Kiprop (27:41.28) was third to claim final slot for Moscow.

But the 1,500m men’s race was the most interesting, especially at the finish, with the Silas Kiplagat, Asbel Kiprop and Nixon Chepseba holding hands as they crossed the line in a sign of solidarity ahead of the Worlds.

Kiplagat, the 2011 Worlds silver medallist, Kiprop, who won gold in Daegu and Chepseba finished in 3:33.970, 3:33.80 and 3:33.90 as they all declared to bury the London Olympics misfortunes with a clean sweep in Moscow.

“What happened in London has always been the question since then and that is what we want to bury in Moscow,” said Kiplagat.

Conseslus Kipruto ran the fastest time on Kenya soil in men’s 3,000m steeplechase of 8:13.50, beating London Olympic bronze medallist, Abel Mutai (8:14.00) to second place.

They will make the team alongside World and Olynpic champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, who finished the race fifth in 8:26.70 and the 2012 Diamond League winner, Paul Kipsiele Koech, who didn’t compete in the trials.

Record-breaking final throw

Isaiah Kiplagat (13:35.12) led London Olympics bronze medallist Paul Longosiwa (13:36.82) and the Beijing Olympics bronze Edwin Soi (13:39.49) in qualifying in 5,000m for the Worlds. Also to make the team is John Kipkoech (13:44.13), who finished fifth behind Augustine Choge (13:41.59)
Africa and All Africa Games champion, Julius Yego, in his own class, warmed up to the World Championships with a national record-breaking final throw of 82.09 metres in javelin.

Yego improved his previous record throw of 81.81 that saw him qualify for the final at the London Olympics where he finished 12th, becoming the first Kenyan in field events at the Games.

Yego, who had broken the 14-year old national record of 78.20 with a throw of 78.34 for his AAG victory, improved his national record at Finnish Elite Games Series event in Kuortane, Finland, in July last year, throwing 81.12 metres. He later broke it at the London Olympics before Satuday’s feat.

“I felt nothing as the javelin cruised so well. It means I got the technique well and that is what I have been working on,” Yego, who is christened the “YouTube Man”, said.

“I realised that I don’t need to be big to do well but just get the technique right.”

Yego said he targets to maintain his weight at 90km as he aims for 85-metre throw at the World Championships.

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