National Championships fends Rome DL for breezy start

National Championships fends Rome DL for breezy start

The ongoing IAAF Diamond League in Rome had a dulling effect on the National Athletics championships that kicked off on Thursday in Nairobi as most stars opted away.

A host Olympians, World and African champions nonetheless attempted to rouse the atmosphere at the Nyayo National Stadium with local fans treated to some spectacular action by their favourite athletes.

Former 1,500m Olympics and three time World Champion Asbel Kiprop, Olympians Beatrice Chepkoech, Alphas Kishoyan, high jump African champion Matthew Sawe and 1,500m African Championships silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot were some of the renowned stars that graced the three-day event.

In the second heat of the men’s 1,500m Kiprop changed his usual running style where he sits at the back before taking charge of the in the last lap.

This time round, he led fellow athletes from other regions from gun to tape teasing Simon Wainana at the finish line.

Wainaina could not match the three time World Champion massive stride and settled for second place in 3:44.8 four seconds behind Kiprop.

African Championships 1,500m silver madalist Timothy Cheruiyot caught the eye of Kiprop after winning the first heat in 3:45.5.

“Timothy is a guy to watch out for this season. He is going to put up a stiff competition but I shall be waiting,” Kiprop said.

The first day of the championships had a fair share of misgivings as the 3,000m steeplechase event got cancelled due to low water levels while the women’s 5,000m event went straight to finals after athletes failed to show up at the call room.

The organisers were forced to instead hold the men’s 5,000m event.

The women’s 20km walk finals will be the first road event as the steeplechasers go over the barriers earl Friday morning.

Meanwhile in the field events African champion Sawe will be attempting to break his 2.25m national record after missing it narrowly by 0.05m during the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) last month at the same venue.