Peter Emase returned with a bang from a hip injury that kept him out of action for almost two years to claim his maiden Kenya Prisons Service Athletics Championships men’s 10,000m title at Kasarani on Friday.
The 25-year-old Emase, who is based in Iten, showed the leading pack of six a clean pair of heels when he broke away midway through the race and never looked back to win in 28 minutes and 38.4 seconds.
With Emase all clear, it was a thrilling exchange in the battle for second place between 2016 Africa 10,000m silver medallist Wilfred Kimitei and seasoned long distance runner Cornelius Kangogo.
It was until the last three laps that Kimitei overtook Kangogo to finish second in 28:56.4 as the trio made Prisons’ team for the National Championships planned from August 20-21 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
The Championships will double up as the national trials for the World Championships slated from September 28 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.
“I feel much stronger having recovered from a frustrating left hip joint injury that had taken long to heal,” said Emase, who is targeting to lower his personal best of 28:25.9 set during the 2016 Nationals.
“Let our rivals be warned that we won’t be flower girls at the nationals. I personally want to run 27:00minutes at the nationals,” declared Emase, who wanted to break out early but opted to stay back.
Kimitei said it’s his dream to once again represent Kenya, this time round at the World Championships, having last flown the national flag at the 2016 Africa Championships in South Africa where he settled for silver in 10,000m.
Kimitei has taken part in several road races this season, finishing fifth at Berlin Half Marathon, second at Ottawa 10km Race and seventh during the African Games trials. “I need to polish on my last quarter for the race where I need some good speed,” added Kimitei.
In other races, former national champion Ibrahim Muiya, Philip Ngwono and Stephen Barasa won their respective heats to set up a potentially explosive men’s 100m final set for Saturday.
Muiya, Ngwono and Baraza dashed to winning times of 10.7 seconds each. Baraza beat Hesbon Ochieng and Brian Oyugi, who timed 10.9 and 11.2 to all qualify for the final.
Muiya edged out Michael Ngugi and Laban Simotwo in 11.0 and 11.2 respectively with all making it to the final. Ngwono beat Boniface Chitayi to second place in 10.9 with the duo making it through from the semi.
Seasoned hurdler Maureen Jelagat and Nevian Michira won their respective women’s 100m heats in 12.2 secs each to ease through to the final alongside Susan Nyambura, who won the other heat in 12.3.
Former national junior champion Geoffrey Mutai won the men’s 400m with the fastest qualifying time of 54.0 to reach the final where he will face other heats winner Samuel Rugut (54.2) and Moses Kimutai (59.4).