The final day at the National Athletics Championships saw four national records go down at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani.
Mike Mokamba from Kenya Defence Forces cashed in on warm morning weather to break compatriot Thomas Musinde’s 100m record set at the 2007 All Africa Games by 0.03 seconds.
Mokamba’s breath-taking time of 10.23 on the red tartan track was enough to see him attain the “B” Standard for the World Championships due August 22 to 30. It was the first time Mokamba was contesting in the 100m at the nationals.
But it’s the women who had the lion’s share of the records, taking three of them.
Police Service’s Joyce Sakari improved her 400m national record with new times of 51.14. It’s Sakari, who had equaled Ruth Waithera’s 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games national record time of 51.56 in 2009 in Abuja, Nigeria. Sakari’s time saw her beat the 51.00 mark to qualify for the World Championships.
KDF’s Priscilla Tabunda was in tip-top form, breaking women’s 100m hurdles record in 14.08 seconds, beating Florence Wasike’s time of 14.21 set during the Africa Championships on July 29, 2010.
Francisca Koki (Police) set the stadium alight with an explosive 55.82 that saw her better her own 400m hurdles national record time of 55.84 set at the 2014 Africa Championships. Koki also qualifies for the World Championships after surpassing the 56.22 standard.
Interestingly, Sakari shattered the 200m national record, returning a scintillating 22.4 second but her time was judged as hand-timed since the electronic system didn’t capture. It could have been double celebration for Zakari, who has just returned from maternity since she could have put to waste Ruth Waithera’s 23.37 set at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Mokamba, 20, would run one of the fastest times in the recent times on Kenyan soil, clocking 20.50m to not only win the national title but also attain the qualify time (20.50) for the World Championships.
Mokamba, the son to one of Kenya’s great sprinters Elkana Nyangau, who is also his coach, went for the 100m title, beating Mark Otieno from Eastern in 10.48 as Emmanuel Lentukunye (KDF) settled for bronze in 10.59. “I just can’t explain the feeling. I am just surprised since a record wasn’t in my plans this being my first time in the event at the nationals,” said Mokamba. “It’s equally amazing since I have set the record at altitude and on Kenyan soil.”
Mokamba is now focusing on polishing on his 200m specialty ahead of the national trials. It’s only Mokamba and USA-based Nkanata, who have attained World Championships time. Mokamba beat Peter Mwai (Police) and defending champion Colins Omae (Nairobi) to second and third in 20.86 and 21.26 respectively.
Sakari won the one-lap race, beating defending champion Maureen Jelagat (Prisons) to second place in 52.24 as Jacinta Shikanda (Police) got bronze in 53.06.
Men’s 400m was also a race to behold when Alphas Kishoyan (KDF) ran the fastest time on Kenyan soil in 20 years, clocking 44.22 against Alex Sampao’s (Central Rift) 44.75 s Raymond Kibet (Central Rift) went for bronze in 45.39. They both attained the World Championship time.