Jemutai notches double at North Rift pre-trials

Jemutai notches double at North Rift pre-trials

Africa youth 3000m champion Zena Jemutai put in a scintillating performance at the Athletics Kenya (AK) North Rift region World Under-20 pre-trials held Saturday at the Lornah Kiplagat High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Ahead of the national trials to be held next month, Jemutai fired warning shot to her competitors when she took victory in both the girls 3000m and 1500m races.

The form two student at Kapsait Athletics Secondary School clocked 9:28.8 to win the 3000m race before timing 9:41.9 to reign supreme in the metric mile.

After placing fifth during the 2018 World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, Jemutai is looking to make amends when this year’s event is held on August 17-22 in Kasarani.

“The race was not that competitive for me. However, I am anticipating a very competitive field during the national trials and therefore I must prepare well for it,” said Jemutai.

Frankline Kiptoo from West Pokot was the winner in the corresponding boy’s event when he clocked 8:19.3 ahead of Vincent Maiyo (8:23.2) and Bernard Kipkurui (8:24.9) who finished second and third respectively.
“I was ready for this event. I am now going to work hard in readiness for the national trials. My aim is to win a gold medal for Kenya in August,” said Kiptoo.

Judy Jeruto was the winner in the girl’s 800m after crossing the finish line in 2:11.0 as Noah Kibet took victory in the boy’s event in 1:45.1.

Elsewhere, Ann Mbatha and Joshua Ndombo both from Trans Nzoia took the top honours in girls and boy’s 400m in 56.8 and 47.8 respectively.

The region that comprises of five counties; Elgeyo Marakwet, Samburu, Turkana, Trans Nzoia and West Pokot used the event to pick her team for the national trials set for July 1-3.

AK president Jackson Tuwei who graced the event said once the national trials are held, the federation is set to place the athletes in a bubble camp ahead of the global championships.

“We will discuss with the youth sub-committee the ideal place where the junior athletes will camp because we don’t want to mix them with the Olympics team who will be residing at the Kasarani Stadium,” Tuwei said.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Governor Alex Tolgos led the county delegation in the event.

North Eastern and Coast are the only regions yet to hold their pre-trials after Central, Eastern, Western and Nyanza North also picked their teams on Saturday.

Southern, Central Rift and South Rift already selected their athletes to compete at the main trials.

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