The 2012 World Indoor 3,000m champion Hellen Obiri and Emmanuel Kipsang on Wednesday lit up the stadium with emphatic victories in 5,000m and 10,000m, respectively, during Kenya Defence Forces Athletics Championships.
Winnie Chebet, the 2006 world junior 800m silver medallist, sprinted to victory in women’s 1,500m as national 110m hurdles champion and record-holder Priscillah Tabunda reigned supreme for a double in 400m hurdles and 110m hurdles at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani.
National 400m champion Alphas Kishoyian and African Games 400m silver medallist Boniface Mweresa won their respective 400m heats to qualify for the semis.
National 100m champion and record-holder Mike Mokamba won his 100m heat alongside former national champion Tom Musinde to sail to the semi-finals.
Obiri won the 5,000m in 15 minutes and 21.8 seconds, beating Joycline Jepkosgei to second place in 15:40.1. Africa Cross silver medallist Sheila Chepkirui came third in 15:42.4. Minutes later, Obiri finished third in the 1,500m with 4:16.1.
“The 5,000m race was quite fine as I tested my endurance but there is nothing I could have done in 1,500m since I was exhausted,” said Obiri who is looking forward for the Shanghai leg of the Diamond League due May 14.
Kipsang retained his 10,000m title in 28:28.1, beating seasoned long distance runner Stephen Arita to second place in 28:44.2. Kishioyan romped home in 47.14 to win the second 400m heat, edging out Cornelius Tuwei 47.40 and Martim Kiplagat 49.03. Bonface Mweresa won his heat in 47.09, beating Solomon Bwoga 47.57. Kishioyan and Mweresa, who have attained the Rio Olympic qualifying mark, plan to prepare in Europe ahead of the national trials.
It's Joseph Poghisio who posted the fastest time in 400m qualifiers, taking his third heat in 46.97. “I am picking up well and I hope to lower my personal best of 44.6 and perhaps break the national record by the time we reach the trials,” said Kishioyan. The national 400m record of 44.18 is held by Samson Kitur set during the 1992 Olympic Games.