Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kenya’s bad day at Penn State Relays

Kenya Defence Forces' Mark Mutai poses for a photo during the All Africa Games at the Estadio Nacional in Maputo on 12 September 2011. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN.

Kenya Defence Forces' Mark Mutai poses for a photo during the All Africa Games at the Estadio Nacional in Maputo on 12 September 2011. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN. 

By JONATHAN KOMEN [email protected]

Kenya posted poor results in men’s relays at the annual Penn State Relays on Saturday night.

The men’s 4x400m relays team, which has attained the Olympic Games qualifying mark, faded to 11th place –a position they have occupied for two years at the annual American showpiece.

The team qualified for the Olympics after finishing sixth in the 4x400m relay at the World Championships in Daegu in 3 minutes, 01.15 seconds but were not invited last year to the Penn State competition.

The quartet of Vincent Koskei (47.2), Vincent Mumo (47.2) Anderson Mureta (47.3) and Mark Mutai (46.0) finished sixth in 3:07.78 in heat one to be ranked 11th. Nigeria (3:09.01) finished 13th.

Athletics Kenya Public relations officer Peter Angwenyi said the federation will be keen to sharpen areas of weakness ahead of the Olympics. He said:

“The athletes are picking up well. Our coaches will work on the weak areas. Our dream of winning an Olympics sprints medal is still alive.”

The US red team (3:00.15) were ranked ahead of Bahamas (3:00.56) and the US Blue team (3:03.13). Jamaica (3:03.28), Belgium (3:04.32) and Trinidad-Tobago (3:04.98), Australia (3:05.93), Dominican Republic (3:06.77) and Germany (3:06.83) followed respectively as Venezuela (3:06.83) and Grenada (3:08.85) closed the chapter.

Kenya’s 4x800m team of Africa 800m bronze winner Jackson Kivuva (2:53.9), World Youth 400m bronze winner Alphas Kishoyian (47.4), Anthony Chemut (1:44.9) and Alfred Kirwa Yego (3:59.3) finished sixth in 9:25.51.

Americans won the top two places. The US had two teams, a Red team with Tyler Mulder in the opening 1,200m leg, and a Tyler Mulder on the opening 1,200 leg, and a Blue team with 3:51 miler Russell Brown in the opening leg (The DMR starts with a 1,200m leg, is followed by a 400m, then an 800m, then a 1,600m anchor.)

Former NCAA indoor 800m champ Mulder has been running some longer distances this year (3:42.53 1,500m last weekend) and that showed on the opening leg. He and Russell Brown pulled away from the field the last 100m and handed off essentially together (2:52.8) as every other team was at least a second back.

USA Blue team (9:19.31) topped ahead of USA Red (9:19.88) –which had Kenyan-turned-American Bernard Lagat (3:57.2) on the finishing –and Ethiopia (9:21.42).

Canada Black team (9:23.34), Australia (9:24.76) and Kenya (9:25.51) followed in that order as Morocco (9:27.80) and Canada Red (9:36.72) trailed in seventh and eighth respectively. 

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