Obiri, Otieno light up AK meet at Kasarani

Obiri, Otieno light up AK meet at Kasarani

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri  fired a warning shot to 10,000m athletes ahead of Tokyo Olympics when she emerged the winner over the distance as the curtains came down on the second leg of Athletics Kenya Track and Field meet on Saturday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Obiri dominated the race from the onset and held off a late fight back from Eva Cherono to seal the victory in 31:24.7 with Cherono coming home second in 31:29.6. Vicoty Chepngeno was third in 31:42.9

With an Olympic medal the only title missing in her decorated trophy cabinet, Obiri had already made her intentions of clinching her maiden Olympic gold known.  Moreover, she is determined to double both in 5,000m and 10,000m at the Summer Games.

“I have been preparing well for the past week and today I decided to test my body ahead of the Kenya Defence Forces Championships. I enjoyed the race, however, it was not that easy competing with the likes of Cherono. Remember also this is not my event and thus winning today means a lot to me,” said Obiri

After finishing a distant fifth in 10,000m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Obiri said she picked positives from the race as she now gears for another show at the Tokyo Games slated for July 23-August 8.

“That was my first championship competing in 10k and I didn’t expect to perform like I did. I gained a lot of experience while competing with international athletes,” she said.

The Commonwealth Games champion added, “It is not easy to shift to 10,000, I have to do a lot in training especially in terms of speed work.”

Meanwhile, national 100m record holder Mark Otieno stunned the in-form Ferdinand Omanyala to clinch the men’s 100m title in 10.24 as Omanyala placed second in 10.40 while Tazana Kamanga closed the podium in 10.49

Otieno said earning qualification for Tokyo Games is top on his priority list even as he vowed to burn the midnight oil to hit the required 10.05 seconds.

“I was hoping to hit the qualifying mark today but it was not possible since I had a calf strain. I am happy with my performance but I have to do more to earn qualification in the coming days. I am also eyeing the World Relays and the Africa Senior Championships,” said Otieno.

Maximilla Imali reigned supreme in both the women’s 100m and 200m clocking 11.95 and 24.51 respectively while Mike Mokamba was the winner in the men’s 200m in 21.0

Boaz Kiprugut took top honours in the men’s 800m after clocking 1:45.9 as Naomi Korir won the women’s race in 2:02.3

The third and final Track and Field meeting is scheduled for April 2-3 at the Nyayo National Stadium.