Fast-rising Wanjiru wins steeplechase title at KDF Games
Mercy Wanjiru of Lanet ran a comfortable race to win the women’s 3000m steeplechase title at the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) athletics championships on Wednesday.
Wanjiru clocked 9:45.9 ahead of Naomi Chepkemwinoi of Kahawa (9:57.2) while Agnes Chesang of Isiolo timed 10.02.8 for third at the Kasarani Stadium.
The Nyahururu-based Wanjiru who won the third Athletics Kenya (AK) Track and Field meet said she is now focusing on the upcoming National Championships which will also double up as the trials for World Championships.
“I think today the weather was favourable for me and winning this race is a morale booster ahead of the trials. I am going to train even harder in order to make it to the national team,” said Wanjiru who earned a ticket to the African Games after finishing second at the Trials held a fortnight ago.
Chepkemoi based in Kericho said she was coming back from a knee injury and similarly eyes a strong performance in the nationals.
“I did not expect to finish second because I was just recovering from a knee injury but I am satisfied with the result and I look forward to the nationals,” Chepkemoi said.
Joyline Chemutai of Kahawa placed fourth in 10.08.1 with Elizabeth Mueni of Moi Airbase finishing fifth in 10:16.9 as Valentine Chepkoech of Nairobi ranked sixth in 10:34.1.
In discuss men, it was a cleen sweep for Nanyuki as Benson Maina managed a throw of 46.19 metres followed by Leonard Bett (43.23) and Nicholas Kering (39.74) who finished second and third respectively.
Earlier in the morning, Simon Wachira clinched victory in the men’s 20km walk race in 1:27.06, Laikipia Airbase’ Peter Theuri clocked 1:28.56 to finish second while Nicodemus Musau of Modika sealed the podium in 1:32.33.
In the corresponding women’s event Emily Ngii crossed the finish line in 1:39.09 ahead of Grace Wanjiru of Moi Airbase who clocked 1:39.27 with Purity Mwende also of Moi Airbase finishing third in 1:56.53.
The three-day championship is being used by KDF to select a team for the national championships cum trials for the World Championships.
The competition enters its third and final day tomorrow with majority of the finals lined up.