Timothy Cheruiyot, Celliphine Chespol and Charles Mneria displayed imperious form in winning their respective races at Kenya Prisons Service Athletics Championships to send a clear warning ahead of the World Championships trials.
Japan-based long distance runner Rosemary Monica Wanjiru, who competed as a guest, stunned former Africa 10,000m champion Alice Aprot to win the women’s 10,000m title.
Cheruiyot, the World and Commonwealth 1,500m silver medallist, retained his 800m title with a new personal best of 1 minute and 44.60 seconds after covering the first lap in 50.7 seconds at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Cheruiyot, 23, who is also the Africa 1,500m champion led from start to finish, brushing aside Isaac Kipketer and Duncan Loloirusha to second and third places in one minute, 49.37 seconds and one minute, 50.28 seconds.
It’s during the same championships last year where the 2018 Diamond League Series 1,500m winner set his personal best when winning in one minute and 45.92 seconds.
“It sets a good feeling with such speed ahead of the World Championships trials,” said Cheruiyot, who hopes for a better show at the World Championships slated from September 28 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar this year.
The World Championships trials that will double up for the National Championships are due August 20-21 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
The 2016 Rio Olympic 800m silver medallist Margaret Nyairera called shots in the women’s two-lap race gliding from behind to overtake Naomi Korir on the home straight and triumph in two minutes, 4.80 seconds.
“I am just confused as we speak and I don’t know what to compete in at the World trials,” said Nyairera, who is among athletes affected by the new hyperandrogenism rule that restrict testosterone levels in female runners.
Nyairera can only compete in 100m, 200m and long distance races staring from 5,000m.
A day after winning the women’s 5,000m, Chespol, the World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion, sealed a double with victory in 1,500m in four minutes and 12.08 seconds.
Chespol, the Africa Cross Country champion, edged out Loice Chemunung and World Under-18 800m champion Jackline Wambui to second and third places respectively.
Chespol, 20, clocked a personal best 15 minutes, 50.7 seconds to win the 5,000m race, beating Tabitha Wangare (16:32.7) and Nancy Nzisa (16:36.5).
“The two events are part of my endurance and speed work programme ahead of the trials where I will compete in my usual steeplechase event,” said Chespol, who is happy that a nagging tendon injury has healed completely. “I just want to make the team for the World event.”
World Under-20 1,500m champion George Manang’oi, who featured as a guest, won the men’s 1,500m race in three minutes, 49.1 seconds.
Mneria, the Prisons Cross Country champion, added yet another crown to his collection, winning the men’s 5,000m in 13 minutes, 43.4 seconds as he warmed up to the 10,000m race at the World trials.
Mneria beat 2012 Olympic 5,000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa to second place as Peter Emase, who had the previous day won 10,000m, came in third.
Nevian Michira hauled a hat-trick in winning the women’s 100m (12.35), 200m (24.63) and 400m (54.70) while Hesbon Ochieng dashed to victory in the men’s 100m in 10.52 seconds, beating Ibrahim Muiya to second in 10.60. Dan Kiviasi won the men’s 200m in 21.13 seconds while Geoffrey Kiprotich went on to claim the 400m title in 46.84 seconds.