World champions Asbel Kiprop (1,500m) and Julius Yego (Javelin) prevailed in their respective events as the Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships ended on Saturday at Kasarani.
Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist Janet Kisa and seasoned long distance runner Vincent Yator claimed a double each with World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi taking the 800m title.
Kisa, the 2014 Africa Cross silver medallist, claimed emphatic victories in 5,000m and 1,500m while Yator went for men’s 10,000m and 5,000m titles.
Kiprop, who was competing for the Presidential Escort Unit (PEU), shot to the front after the second lap then slowed to the tail end before hitting the front again at the bell to win his 1,500m race in 3:40.2.
Fresh from posting a world lead of 1 minute and 44.6 seconds in Eldoret a week ago, Kiprop won in an interesting style that left the ecstatic crowd on the edge of their seats.
The world 1,500m champion was cruising at the home stretch and was about to take a salute with 30m to go but a charging Abednego Chesebe on his right threatened to surge ahead, forcing him to kick hard for victory by 0.4 seconds.
Chesebe (Rift Valley) settled for the second slot in 3:40.6 as Collins Cheboi sealed the last podium place in 3:41.7.
“I just wanted to make the race interesting and I loved the challenge from Chesebe,” said Kiprop.
“I thought I was clear, only to see Chesebe surging forward behind my right shoulder. I had to step on my gas pedal to win,” a smiling Kiprop said.
Kiprop now turns his focus on the opening leg of the Diamond League in Doha on May 6. “I am yet to hit top form. I’m only 50 per cent to where I was when I won the World title. I am working on my endurance and I believe I will be 90 per cent ready during the trials for Olympics.”
Yego, who won his event in Eldoret with a throw of 78.14m, improved to 78.29m on his fifth throw, beating Fred Kogo on 63.50 and Henry Kiprono 61.64.
SLOWLY REGAINING FORM
“I am slowly regaining my form this being my second competition in the country,” said Yego.
“My target this season is to win the Olympics gold and not how far I will throw.”
Yego has three weeks of training before heading to Frankfurt for an international event on May 16. He will then head to Ostrava to defend his title before his first Diamond League outing in Eugene on May 28.
Yator clocked 28:15.7 to win the 10,000m, edging out Joseph Kiptum and World Indoor 3,000m bronze medallist Augustine Choge in 28:22.8 before going for the 5,000m title hours later in 13:43.9.
Isaiah Kiplangat (13:44.7) came in second and Remmy Limo (13:45.1) third. Kisa outclassed African Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo to second place both in 5,000m and 1,500m.