Athletics Kenya Busia County vice chairperson, Ann Otiti has warned other counties to expect a bruising battle in the regional cross country athletic championship to be held at Masinde Muliro University in Kakamega this weekend.
“Our athletes recorded improved times during the county trials on Saturday and we are optimistic of posting even better results in Kakamega. We have a young and energetic team full of promising talent led by Selpha Mungala who has shown great performance,” said the former athlete who competed in the sprints in the late 70s.
Asked why Kenya is no longer performing well in the sprints, Otiti, who was coached by veteran athlete Diana Muke said the upcoming talents lack support and mentorship with focus biased towards long races.
“We need support to nature talent for these races. We have a lot of athletes who can effectively compete at both national and international stage but we lack requisite support to push them to the limit,” she added.
Otiti’s sentiments were echoed by chairperson Martin Kabaka who cautioned other counties that will parade their teams in Kakamega not to undermine Busia. “We need to stand firm against doping. Kenya has been put on the radar by the World Anti-doping Authority because our current athletes want to use shortcuts to ascend to stardom,” he warned.
During the weekend meet at Busia Stadium, Selpha Mungala, a Grade Three pupil at Bulanda Primary School won junior women’s title. The 11-year-old led from start to finish in the 6km race, posting a time of 24 minutes, 39 seconds.
She was followed by East Africa secondary schools runners-up Silva Kadogo in 25:43.65 while Mungala’s schoolmate Minitricia Achieng was third in 27: 32.53.
“Daily training and hard work made me win here against experienced runners. I am determined to work even harder so that I post a better time in Kakamega to secure a ticket for the national trials,” said Mungala.
In junior men’s 6km category, Bernard Otare, a Form One student at St John’s Alupe Secondary School won after cutting the tape in 20:24.23.
He was followed Osopotoit Primary School pupil Edgar Omanyala who timed 21: 43.72 while Douglas Barasa came third in 21: 56.87. The senior men’s 10km title went to Busia businessman Emmanuel Owino (34:29.72).