A dark cloud hung over the 2nd New KCC/AK track and field weekend meeting at Ruring’u Stadium after an athlete collapsed and later died.
Private Peter Isaboke Mogere of Nanyuki Air Base died moments after he finished a 5,000m heat.
Confirming the incident on Saturday, Athletics Kenya secretary-general David Okeyo said the entire athletics body was saddened by the “unfortunate event” of Friday evening.
“I must say that we are so much aggrieved by the event that happened yesterday. We lost one of the athletes from Nanyuki Air Base by the name Private Mogere, who collapsed and did not recover after participating in the 5,000m heat,” said Okeyo.
“We would like, on behalf of Athletics Kenya and the entire athletics fraternity, to take this opportunity to send our condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the athletes for this unfortunate event.”
Okeyo said AK is waiting for the doctor’s report regarding the cause of death.
The deceased was in the initial stages of building his athletics profile, especially in long distance running. Last December, he participated in the Safaricom Kisumu Marathon where he finished in the top 10.
Mogere was training for a series of road races in Europe where he had been invited, according to AK public relations officer Peter Angwenyi.
Angwenyi also said Mogere was an elder brother of Osaka 2007 World Championships finalist in 10,000m, Philes Ongori. He hails from Chironge Sub-location, Kiamoka Location of Kisii District.
The athlete collapsed after the heat in the afternoon when he took a cold soft drink, according to a Central AK secretary, Mutahi Kahiga, who was in the stadium at the time.
“He collapsed right after taking a cold drink and his colleagues tried to save his life by rushing him to hospital but he never made it,” said Mutahi.
Meanwhile, the mood of the 17th CAA African Senior Athletics Championships is finally at home.
For the past two days, Nyeri Town witnessed the biggest sporting gala attended by local and international athletes during the New KCC/AK meeting.
No doubt the first day was long and characterised by frustrations and struggle as seasoned runners battled it out with young talent in various preliminary heats to make it to the finals and, more importantly, make good qualifying times which will be considered for national team slots.
In the 10,000m, Robert Mwangi floored a strong opposition, posting 29.19.1 as Lanet’s Thomas Lokomwe crossed the finish line only a fraction of a second later, clocking 29.19.7.
However, none of the 10,000m runners hit the qualifying standard time of 28.38.00 in the mens’ category.
Mfae Club’s (Nyahururu) Gordon Mugi displayed yet another spectacular performance in 5,000m barely a month after he won the Mathira road race. He posted a 13.52.7 victory as his training mate, Simon Gichuki, a fine road runner, finished second in 13.52.9.
Beijing Olympics gold medallist Asbel Kiprop started his track and field season on a high note as he easily won the 800m race. His finishing time of 1.51.4 was, however, under the qualifying time of 1.47.30.
David Mutinda was second and Abraham Sawe third.