Little-known Kenneth Kipkemoi could have blasted to fame to win the 10,000 metres title but the day belonged to US-based Linda Oseso, who broke her own hammer throw record at Athletics Kenya/National Bank national championships at Kasarani on Thursday.
Three-time Africa champion Grace Wanjiru, the 2010 Commonwealth bronze medallist, conquered the hilly course and retain her 20km walk race crown.
Oseso, who has just graduated from the University of California with a degree in public health, bettered her previous record of 57.49m set on May 13, 2011 with a new distance of 59.72m.
The feat saw the 22-year-old qualify for the Africa Senior Athletics Championships slated for June 26 to July 1 in Porto Novo, Benin, alongside Lucy Omondi of Kenya Defence Force (KDF).
Omondi, 23 ploughed 48.48 to surpass the continental athletics qualifying mark of 48.00m.
Upset strong field
“I am very excited that I won’t be alone in Beninsaid Oseso, who will be targeting 62.00 at the continental event.
“We shall inspire each other for better performance. I have been doing 60.80 in training in the US.”
The Kenya Prisons 10,000m winner, Kipkemoi, who represented Nairobi, upset a field that had the 2008 World Junior 5,000m silver medallist Matthew Kisorio and world fastest marathoner, Geoffrey Mutai, romping home in 27 minutes and 49.53 seconds.
Lewis Mosoti of KDF came home second in 27:53.94 as Kisorio (Police) settled for bronze in 28:05.60.
The was nothing for Kipkemoi apart from the national pride since AK has already selected the national teams for the next month’s London Olympic Games and Africa Championships.
Wanjiru, already qualified for Olympics, clocked 1:37.45 to set the stage for her Africa title defence.
Her KDF walkers Emily Ngii 1:38.45 and Esther Murugi 1:46.40 completed the podium sweep.
World Indoor 3000m champion Hellen Obiri (KDF) reigned to qualify for the 1500m final winning her heat with the third fastest time of 4:17.2.
Berin Nenkambi (KDF) was the fastest in 4:12.4 followed by Stacy Ndiwa (Western) 4:14.4.
Double World Junior 3,000m champion Mercy Cherono (Police) 4:22.6 and Africa Cross Country silver medallist Margaret Wangari (Police) 4:19.0 also made the 1,500m final.
Olympic and World Indoor 800m champion Pamela Jelimo (Police) opted to run in 400m in search of speed, qualifying for the semi-finals in 53.3 alongside the national champion Joy Zakari (Police) 53.08, Grace Kidake 55.4 and Agnes Monono 55.2.
Commonwealth and National 400m champion Mark Mutai won his heat in 46.85 for the semi-finals alongside former rugby sevens player Collins Omae 47.2, Boniface Mwereza 46.1 and Vincent Mumo 46.7.
Africa shot put silver medallist Isiao Lwanziro (13.16) and Caroline Cherotich (2.95) all of KDF retained women’s shot put and pole vault titles while David Limo (KDF) claimed men’s discuss in 47.22.