Young guns earn Kenya tickets for Doha Worlds
World Under-20 3000m steeplechase silver medalist Leonard Kipkemoi Bett and World Under-18 800m champion Jackline Wambui are among the youngsters that made the cut for the upcoming World Championships as the two-day trials concluded on Friday.
Bett stunned a strong field to emerge victorious in the men’s race in 8:20.29 followed by African Games champion Benjamin Kigen who clocked 8:20.56 with Abraham Kibiwott clinching the third slot after coming home third in 8:24.61.
Olympic and World champion Conseslus Kipruto dropped out of the race but had already secured a ticket to by virtue of being the defending champion.
Bett who hails from Bomet County said he was elated to be making his debut at the Worlds in an event dominated by Kenyans since time immemorial.
“I am happy to make the team it has not been easy but I thank God and my coach John Kimeto for the support. I know it will not be easy in Doha but I have conpeted there before in the Diamond League and I think I am ready for the challenge at the senior level, ” said Bett.
On her part, Wambui clocked 1:58.79 and will team up with former world champion Eunice Sum who also made the cut after finishing second in 1:58.99.
Wambui said she is progressing welll to the senior level and exuded confidence of performing well in Doha.
“I know everybody is eyeing gold, silver and bronze in this championships and that shows you it will be competitive but I am ready for the challenge,”said Wambui.
In the men’s 800m, little-known Ngeno Kipngetich stunned seasoned athletes to win the race in 1:44.57 as Africa silver medalist Emmanuel Korir finished second in 1:44.62 while Ferguson Rotich clinch the final slot as he came third in 1:44.63
Fresh from winning gold at the African Games a fortnight ago, Lilian Kasait continued her supremacy over the distance running to victory in 15:43.55 ahead of Margaret Chelimo (15:46.65) and Sheilah Chelangat (15:48.65) with the trio set to represent Kenya in Doha.
World 1500m champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon and this year’s Diamond League series champion Timothy Cheruiyot emerged top in the women’s and men’s 1500m respectively.
Cheruiyot who has been in a sensational form this season ran into an easy win crossing the finish line in 3:34.91 with Ronald Kwemoi coming home second in 3:36.61 as World Under-20 champion George Manangoi closed the podium in 3:37.00 to also seal a berth to Doha.
The trio will join World champion Elijah Manangoi who opted out of the trials although he already has a wild card.
Cheruiyot said he is ready to team up with his colleagues to sweep the Podium.
“In 2017 I won silver and I think going to Doha I can improve on that. The team is really strong and it will be competitive there as well,” said Cheruiyot.
On her part, Chepngetich said she was elated to be back on track after being out on maternity leave.
” It feels good to defend my title in Doha. We are going to work as team and if we bring all the three medals it will be even better. I know it won’t be easy especially as we will be facing the likes of Dibaba,” said Kipyegon.
The two-day event concluded today with the Athletics Kenya using the competition to select a team for this year’s World Championships set for September 27-October 6 in Doha,Qatar.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed who was in attendance at the Nyayo National Stadium, promised athletes maximum support as they prepare for the biennial event.
“We had a meeting today and we agreed we shall settle all the payments fir the athletes who competed in Morocco fir the African Games then we now take care of the team to Doha. Athletes will always be the first to be paid before even the officials,” Amina said.
Selected Team to Doha
400m Men: Alfas Kishoyian, Emmanuel Korir
400m Hurdles: Nicholas Chirchir
800m: Kipngetich Ngeno, Emmanuel Korir, Ferguson Rotich
1500m: Elijah Manangoi, Timothy Cheruiyot, Ronald kwemoi, George Manangoi
3,000m Steeplechase: Conseslus Kipruto, Leonard Bett, Benjamin Kigen, Abraham Kibiwott
5000m: Nicholas Kimeli
10,000m: Rhonex Kipruto, Rodgers Kwemoi, Alex Oloitiptip
Marathon: Amos Kipruto, Geoffrey Kirui, Laban Korir, Paul Lonyangata
High Jump: Mathew Sawe
Javelin: Julius Yego
20km Walk Race: Samuel Gathimba
400m: Mary Moraa, Hellen Syombua
800m: Eunice Sum, Jackline Wambui
1500m: Faith Chepngetich, Winny Chebet, Sela Jepleting, Judy Chepngetich
5000m: Hellen Obiri, Lilian Kasait, Margaret Chelimo
10,000m: Agnes Tirop, Hellen Obiri, Rosemary Wanjiru
3,000m Steeplechase: Beatrice Chepkoech, Hyvin Kiyeng, Celliphine Chesol, Fancy Cherono
Marathon: Ruth Chepngetich, Visiline Jepkesho, Edna Kiplagat
20km Walk Race: Grace Wanjiru,
4x400m Mixed Relays: Mary Moraa, Gladys Musyoki, Linda Kageha, Alfas Kishoyian, Alex Sampao and Joseph Poghisio.
Team Manager: Joseph Kiget
Assistant Team Manager: Erustus Kabugi
Head Coach: Julius Kirwa
Coaches: Bernard Ouma, David Kitur, Shame Kororia, Abraham Kiplimo, Shelly Kilunda, Joseph Cheromei, Richard Metto.
Official: Fred Oundo, Nahashion Kibon