Sprinter Ngari raring to bag EA Juniors double gold
National secondary school sprint champion, Moffat Ngari is raring to bag the 100m and 200m double at the East Africa (EA) Junior Championships in Dar-es-Salaam later this month after making the 22-strong Kenyan squad to the event.
Athletics Kenya (AK) selected the team upon conclusion of the Trials on Tuesday in Nairobi with Ngari among the three athletes who will double in Tanzania with the rest taking part in single races during the regional event that will run on April 19 and 20.
World Youth silver medallist, Sandrafelis Chebet, Yaoundé Africa Cross junior champion, Miriam Cherop, silver medallist, Gloria Kite and Boaz Kiprugut who also took silver in the men’s junior race in Cameroon also made the team.
“I am so happy to have won the two races and earning a selection in both. I am confident I will once again emerge the winner in Tanzania,” Ngari who ran 10.30 and 21.00 to win the 100m and 200m at the Trials told Citizen Digital.
“I want to make my name in Tanzania and I already feel like a champion,” the budding sprinter, 16, who is awaiting an athletics scholarship in the USA later in the year, added.
During the Trials, Chebet who won the women’s junior 6km race at the February 13 IAAF Permit/National Cross Country Championships but did not travel to Cameroon underlined her supremacy in a dominant victory in the women 5000m race where she clocked 15:44.80.
She will be joined in Dar by Emmaculate Chepkirui who clocked 16:04.60 for runners-up ahead of Wilfridah Nyanchoka (16:09.90) from Nyanza South in what was a commanding display from Chebet, the Africa Youth 2000m steeplechase champion who ran unchallenged to the line.
Wesley Ladema who was eighth at the Cross Nationals was in a class of his own in clocking a 13:38.50 victory in the corresponding men’s race ahead of Peter Langat (13:49.60) and Matthew Kimeli (13:49.60) where the top-two made the Dar team.
Kite turned the tables on Cherop who beat her to gold in Yaoundé in the women 1500m final after deploying the afterburners to close a 4:15.10 win ahead of the Africa Cross titleholder who followed her home in 4:21.10 with the winner clinching the solo slot for the EA Junior championships.
Maureen Thomas who won the 200m and 400m double in 24.20 and 53.80 will also represent her nation at both events alongside Eunice Mukonyo who took the honours in women’s 100m (12.50) and finished second in 200m in 25.70.
“I’m aiming to do better and I know everything will be okay at the East African championships. She is a very fast runner and I knew that with her around this was going to be very stiff,” Thomas said.
Kevin Kiprotich (46.80) and Ronald Afya (47.10) ran to the 1-2 in the men’s 400m to be included in a team where selectors upped the number of short distance runners at the expense of the distance races traditional medal breadbaskets in an effort to boost sprints.
AK Youth Sub-Committee Chairman, Barnabas Korir is confident the team will shine in Dar es Salaam announcing they will report to camp next week in Nairobi.
Korir added the entire team will be tested for doping as the country battles to clear its image following the international storm blown by the spike of cases of banned Kenyan runners in recent year.
Report by Mercy Rop
TEAM KENYA for EA JUNIORS
Markson Sirera Paima
Kevin Kiprotich Tonui
David Lomalin Tome
Maureen Thomas Nyatich
Maureen Thomas Nyatich
Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei