World under-18 800m silver medallist Lydia Jeruto emerged victorious in the 5,000m race during the second leg of Athletics Kenya Track and Field meeting held at Mumias Sports Complex in Kakamega County.
Jeruto, who is a two-lap race expert, entered the 5,000m race where she surprised many in the last lap taking the lead with road race specialist Fancy Cherono in tow.
Initially, Jeruto was running in a pack of six athletes who included the former Commonwealth Games champion Mercy Cherono who is fresh from maternity leave before breaking in the last lap and led all the way to the tape.
Jeruto beat Eva Cherono to second position with Fancy Cherono settling for third place. Mercy Cherono came in a distance fourth.
“I was not sure I was going to win the race but I’m happy I took the lead in a race I have never participated in. I had done good preparations after my recovery from the World Cross Country Championships in March,” said Jeruto.
In the 10,000m men’s final, Simon Letaya from Esmi Club took the win clocking 28 minutes, 35.1 seconds ahead of Hillary Mosop and Abel Mutai.
“The race was tough but I decided to hang on the leading pack knowing that I had good finishing kick which saved me in the last lap. I’m happy with the results and I’m eyeing a slot in team Kenya for the All Africa Games,” said Mosoriot-based Letaya.
In long jump, 200m athlete Millicent Ndoro won by posting 5.98m followed by Maximilla Imali who jumped 5.58m while Gloria Mulei settled for third with 5.55m.
Imali said that she was in top form and will be participating in the short races and field events as she eyes a slot to represent Kenya at the All Africa Games in Casablanca, Morocco.
The race also saw the comeback of 1,500m specialist Nickson Chepseba after a long track absence. He qualified for the semi-finals and said he would be targeting the podium on Saturday.
Action continues today with the men’s 3,000m steeplechase and men’s 5,000m attracting a large number of entries.
Athletes are gearing up for the national trials that will be used to select teams for the All Africa Games in Morocco and Doha World Championships.