World Cross Country sensations Peter Kisorio (10,000m) and Nelly Chebet (5,000m) dominated their races at the national secondary schools athletics championships in Eldoret on Friday.
Kisorio and Chebet thrilled a large crowd which included National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chairman Kipchoge Keino and Athletics Kenya Head coach Julius Kirwa.
The junior runners braved the scorching heat in the chase for places in the secondary schools team to the triangular championships scheduled next weekend at the same venue.
Kisorio, who was in the team to Edinburgh world cross country last year and representing Rift Valley, employed an electric pace to shake off his arch-rival Philemon Rono (Rift Valley) to win in an amazing time of 29:37.5. Rono 30:03.2 and Central’s John Wachuri 30:40.8 were second and third respectively.
“The race was a very good one. My tactics worked well today in the absence of my brother Mathew. This is an indication that I can make the team to Africa Junior Championships this year,” said Kimeli.
Nairobi’s Chebet, who finished fifth at the World Cross Championships in Amman , Jordan last March, won in 16:30.7 beating a big field which included World Junior 5,000m bronze medalist Lucia Muia 16:37.9 (Eastern) who finished second place. Rift Valley’s Gladys Chesir came third in 16: 45.8.
“The race was not that hard. I never allowed any one to take the lead as I knew Muia has a strong kick. I now pray to God to guide me in the struggle for a slot in World Youth team,” said the 17-year-old Nelly Chebet.
Commonwealth Youth Games 800m bronze medalist David Mutinda won his 800m heat in an impressive 1:51.7 .He was closely followed by Enock Omwamba 1:52.5 (Nyanza) and Rift Valley’s Abraham Chirchir 1:55.1 in that order.
World Junior 800m silver medallist Winnie Chebet held off Cecilia Kyale (Eastern) and Margaret Muthoni (Central) to win her 800m heat in 2:10.1. Kyale and Muthoni returned in 2:13.9 and 2:14.7 respectively.
Africa Junior 3000m steeplechase champion and World Junior silver medalist Elizabeth Mueni (Nairobi) won the women’s steeplechase beating Commonwealth Youth Games 1500m finalist Purity Cherotich (Rift Valley) and Nairobi’s Zeddy Chelagat. Mueni timed was timed at 10:30.6 while Cherotich and Chelagat clocked 10:36.7 and 10:49.1 respectively.
Western’s Duncan Shilindwa carried the 10,000m men walk title in 47:07.9 ahead of Ignatius Ekeya (Western) and Eastern’s Duncan Kimanthi who timed at 48:39.4 and 48:41.6 respectively.
Several big races were due yesterday as the as world cross country junior silver medalist Mercy Cherono, Japheth Korir, world junior 1,500m silver medallist James Magut; among other globetrotting elites prepared for the finals.
Coach Kirwa lauded the performances at the competitions. “This is a wonderful show of talent. Already most of them have attained qualifying marks. Given such standards, Kenya would send a strong to the World Youth and Africa Junior championships,” said Kirwa.