Moraa, Omanyala steal show at AK relay meet
It was a spectacular sight to behold as athletics bigwigs from disciplined forces and civilians congregated on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium for the second Athletics Kenya (AK) Relay series.
National 400m champion Mary Moraa reigned supreme in the 800m as she clocked 2:04.92 to beat Josephine Chelangat (2:05.11) and Emily Cherotich (2:05.95) to second and third respectively.
Moraa said she is now gearing towards the Olympic Games as she seeks to shift her specialty to 800m.
“I think at the moment I am on the right track my aim is to transit to 800m. For the Olympics I am focusing on 800m but I have not decided if I will also do 400m,” said Moraa.
In the corresponding men’s race, Jeremiah Mutai outwitted the Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal when he crossed the finish line in 1:47.40 as Kinyamal came home second in 1:47.77 with African Games 800m silver medallist Cornelius Tuwei finishing third in 1:47.80
Nyahururu-based Kumari Taki placed fourth in 1:48.03.
It was however in the men’s 100m that Ferdinand Omanyala illuminated the half empty Nyayo stadium when he set a new personal best of 10.11 seconds.
Although he lowered the national record of 10.14 held by Mark Otieno, the mark was not ratified as a national record due to wind assistance.
The athlete who has been on a protracted push and pull with the federation was delighted when he was finally cleared to compete as he now set his sights on the Summer Games.
“I have been training really hard and I am not surprised with my performance today since I have had a very good pre season. I am happy that I was finally allowed to compete. It now gives me more strength to fight for the Olympics,” said Omanyala.
National 100m record holder Mark Otieno placed second in 10.32 as Tarzana Kamanga finished third in 10.59
Gladys Musyoki took the top honours in the women’s 400m after clocking 54.53 ahead of Eglay Nalianya (55.47) and national record holder Hellen Syombua (56.21) who finished second and third respectively.
Emmanuel Mutua clocked 46.46 to out sprint Zablon Ekwam (46.88) in the men’s 400m.
Maximilla Imali and Mark Otieno emerged winners in the women’s and men’s 200m respectively.
The event witnessed a high turn out of sprint and middle-distance athletes in the build up to the World Relay Championships slated for May 1-2 in Silesia, Poland.
AK embraced technology in the event with the use of electronic timing equipment.
The third and final leg is scheduled for February 6 thereafter trials for selecting team Kenya will be held on March 26-27.