Kenya’s Boniface Mweresa continued to sharpen his skills ahead of the Rio Olympic Games when he chalked a surprise victory in the 400m race on Friday at the Catalan Centenary Indoor Meet in Sabadell, Spain.
Mweresa sprinted to a personal best 46.46 seconds, beating Italian Galvan Matteo to second in 47.05 in Final A.
Home athlete Mark Sanchez settled for third in 47.32.
Mweresa’s time is now ranked 25th in the world this season. “I should say I have just started and the victory just inspires me more,” Mweresa a private at Kenya Defence Forces.
“It means that I can achieve more if I to focus and work hard.”
The 22-year-old sprinter started his Indoor season well on February 13, finishing second in 47.08 at Gent Indoor in Belgium. Frenchman Thomas Jordier won in 46.98.
“My training in Europe forms part of my preparations for the Olympics,” said Mweresa, who won the African Games 400m silver medal in an Olympic qualifying time of 45.01, losing the battle to Africa champion Isaac Makwala (Botswana) 44.35.
Mweresa and Alphas Kishoyian, who represented Kenya at the World Championships in Beijing last year, are the only athletes to clock the Olympic qualifying time of 45.40.
WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
But first things first, Mweresa hopes to make the national team for the World Indoor Championships due March 17-20 in Portland, USA.
Mweresa who is due in the country on February 29 said there is a lot work to be done with his coach Sammy Macharia at his Kenya Defence Forces team.
“Even though I am yet to pick my peak but I am somewhere and the season looks good,” Mweresa said. “I won’t sleep on my laurels hence the need to work extra hard to at least to reach the final in Portland.”
Just two days after smashing the World Indoor mile record in Stockholm, Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba was back in action at the same meet, this time over 3000m .
Dibaba lined up alongside fellow Ethiopian Gelete Burka, who was a World Indoor 1500m champion back in 2008.
The pair had already caught the pacemaker when she dropped out at 800m, having covered the first four laps in about 2:15.5. Dibaba led through 1000m in 2:49.27 before Burka took up the pace for a lap.
A final circuit of 31 seconds brought Dibaba home in 8:22.50, the second-fastest indoor clocking in history behind her own World Indoor record of 8:16.60.
Burka, the world 10,000m silver medallist, came through for second place in 8:33.76, her fastest 3000m clocking in any conditions since 2008.
The 2011 World Youth 3 000m champion Gotytom Gebreslase was third in 8:54.65.