Pomp, colour marks AK Track and Field meet in Thika as Nyairera, Kosgei shine
Pomp and colour marked the seventh leg of Athletics Kenya Track and Field meet at Thika Stadium on Saturday as locals got a chance to catch a glimpse of their favourite athletes go shoulder-to- shoulder.
The two-day event was headlined by top guns like Olympic bronze and Commonwealth Games 800m silver medalist Margaret Nyairera, World and Commonwealth Games champion Elijah Manangoi, World Under- 20, 1,500m title holder Kumari Taki among many others.
Nyairera, the home favourite, competed in the 400m instead of her usual discipline and managed to clock her targeted personal best of 53.5 seconds enroute to victory over the one lap distance on Saturday.
Veronica Mutua put her best put forward but was no match for Nyairera as she settled for second place in 53.9 ahead of Joan Cherono (54.1).
In another final of the day, Kenya Defence Forces soldier Lawi Kosgei reigned supreme over 150 athletes to take 5,000m top honours.
Kosgei took a top podium place after clocking 13 minutes, 50.0 seconds, seven seconds ahead of Geoffrey Barosei (13:50.7) and Razini Leneteki (13:51.3) who were drawn from various heats.
“I had come to compete in the 1,500m but the race was not scheduled for today. It was done on Friday, so I decided to check on my endurance and speed in 5,000m and temple speed in 3,000m,”he said. “So far I’m contended with everything; I expect to have a good race in the forthcoming KDF Championships then await the trials for a chance to represent Kenya at the IAAF World Under -20 Championships in Finland.”
After a motivational performance during the men’s 3,000m flat, Kennedy Njiru also from KDF is now focusing on making it to Team Kenya for Africa Championships slated for August 1- 5 in Assaba , Nigeria.
“I narrowly missed my chance to Gold Coast, Australia, but I did not lose hope. I have been working to be at par with the likes of Olympic and World champion Conseslus Kipruto. It has been my childhood dream and I’m following what the coach is telling me to do. Everything is working out well and I’m not struggling anymore,” said Njiru, who holds the rank of a Corporal.
Njiru who also took the inaugural Kenya Army Athletics Championships 3,000m steeplechase title stopped the timer at 7:49.8 to win in his heat as Kosgei who took the 5,000m title settled for second place after winning the second heat in 7:56.2. Wilberforce Kones took third place in 7:57.0.
Once the weekend meets are over, the regional championships will take place as they gear up for the June 21-23 National Championships.