Kenyan Trials: David Rudisha loses first ever race at home

By evelyn watta
Aug 01, 2015
  • Fergusson Rotich celebrates after winning the 800m at the Kenyan trials on Saturday at the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

After a decade racing, dozens of runs across the country, David Rudisha’s incredible unbeaten home record ended on Saturday at the Kenyan trials for the world championships.

It has been a difficult season for the 800m World record holder Rudisha, repeatedly beaten this season by Amos Nijel, the Olympic silver medalist, the Botswana runner he solidly outpaced at the 2012 London games.

The defeats then certainly hurt, but he never showed.

But when Fergusson Rotich, zoomed past in the home stretch, Rudisha, the 2011 world champion was stung,stunned.

There was a slight stoop in his usual graceful gait. He had qualified to defend his title in Beijing but in an unusual second position.

He has struggled from a series of calf strains and a knee injury since the magical night in London. The 26-year-old has not quite himself in the diamond league series however he was confident going into the final at the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium cheered on by the scattered crowds that included President Uhuru Kenyatta .

The typical front-runner led the field through the first half. Then the race looked like it would follow the same style till the end when he crosses the finish line first.

But behind him Rotich a semi finalist in Moscow two years ago, where he rued Rudisha’ s guiding absence, was charging down and closing on him fast.

Having raced and watched a few of the 800m races he knew his weakest point, the 100m. That’s when he struck when Rudisha’s finishing power now fades.

A break Rotich exploited as he burst forward for 1:43.60 win with Rudisha closing in for second in 1:43.89. Alfred Kipketer was third and booked a slot in the Beijing bound team in 1:44.07.

“I have never lost any race in Kenya, this is the first time. But at least I came here to make the team and I did,” said Rudisha as he glanced at the indoor stadium screen rerunning the last bit of the race. He has won every 800m race he has ran at home since 2006 as a junior.

Change tactic

“I need to work on the last 100m where I lack the speed and the endurance to maintain the kick. I may also need to relook the tactic and technique. I ran from behind in London and it wasn’t bad,” he said, still positive that he can reclaim the world title in Beijing, where he won his first career medal in 2006 when the Chinese capital hosted the World juniors.

“People around me had told me that I could win today but I didn’t think I would really up until the last 50m when I passed him,” a delighted Rotich explained panting hard, evident of how hard the devastating kick he unleashed to beat his role model was.

“I had watched Amos racing Rudisha and saw the tactic he used to beat him. It’s the same I used today and won the race. At 50m I just decided to close the gap and go forward and it worked,” added the 26-year-old who admitted he has been working on his kick that failed him and cost him the final in Moscow.

“We have to change how he runs from the front,” said coach Brother Colm O’Connel pleased with Rudisha’s physical shape progression but more concerned on his mental strength.

“My work now and the hard work is to make him believe that he can do it again and repeat his wins. He had a shot at the World record he got it, Olympic title he got it, he is a world champion too. The big work is motivating him mentally.”

Kiprop tops 1500m

Asbel Kiprop marched on towards a possible treble at the worlds in the men’s 1500m, stylish saluting as he crossed the finish line, relived after heaving to the finish line pushed by Elijah Manangoi and Silas Kiplagat.

The fast rising junior Manangoi confidently led the classy field at the bell a charge curtailed by Kiprop in the last 100m as he held on for a 3:34.03 win. Kiplagat relieved he finding his form after a difficult last two seasons, was second in 3:34.44 as the junior booked his Beijing ticket in 3:34.46. 

“We have won it twice before and we should do it the third time. With Silas who has been very consistent in the team and Manangoi a determined newcomer, we will be the ones to beat if we make the finals,” said Kiprop.

“I know a lot of people have been asking questions about me. But am now back in shape no injury and well prepared. I am now more mature and mentally strong. My biggest undoing has been running on the outer lane that has changed,” said Kiplagat.

World silver medalist Mercy Cherono opted to skip the 5000m race and contest for 1500m which she raced home second behind Faith Kipyegon who stayed in the lead pack frm gun to finish clocking 4:01.85.Cherono who expressed her desire to double in Beijing possibly to counter the Genzebe Dibaba threat in both races timed 4:02.21 ahead of third placed Nancy Chepkwemoi(4:04.67).

"If AK can allow me i could try both races in Beijing as I feel strong enough to challenge for medals in both.Dibaba is an athlete I have raced and beaten before as a junior. I started my season late after the injury after cross country so I am certain I will catch up," said Cherono.

As expected defending world champion Eunice Sum led her older teammate Janeth Jekosgei in the women’s 800m which she won in an impressive 1:59.46. Jepkosgei, the former world champion from Osaka qualified for her fourth worlds in 2:00.42 as Annete Mwanzi timed third in 2:01.46.

Alphas Kishoyian stretched out for a 45.02 win in the men’s 400m ahead of Boniface Mweresa 45.56.

Julius Yego threw 83.10m and immediately challenged the government to hire ac coach to guide the fast rising throwers inspired by his Javelin exploits.

Alex Kiprotich second in 73.10m and Nelson Yegon’s 70.34m throw that palced them second and third respectively earned them tickets to the All African games in Congo Brazzaville in September.

Collated Results: Men 100M 1 Mike Mokamba 9.9 2 Mark Otieno 10.1 3 Tony Chirchir 10.2 4 Gilbert Otieno 10.4 5 Emmanuel Lentukunye 10.6 6 Simon Kimaru 10.9 7 Brian Gatura 11.1 8 Philip Ngwono 11.2

200M 1 Mike Mokamba 20.48 2 Nkanata Carvin 20.82 3 Mwai Peter 20.90 4 Elisha Kibichii 21.04 5 Stenley Kieti 21.31 6 Collins Omae 21.50 7 Boniface Khagai 21.70

400M 1 Alphas Kishoyian 45.02 2 Boniface Mweresa 45.56 3 Raymond Bett 45.65 4 Alex Sampao 45.91 5 Moses Kertich 46.39 6 Joseph Pogisho 46.39 7 Vincent Mumo 46.55 8 Newton Rono 46.57

800M 1 Ferguson Cheruiyot 1:43.60 2 David Rudisha 1:43.89 3 Alfred Kipketer 1:44.07 4 Jackson Kivuva 1:44.56 5 Job Kinyor 1:45.00 6 Jonathan Kiprotich 1:46.02 7 Patrick Kiprotich 1:46.36 8 Timothy Kitum 1:47.32

1500M 1 Asbel Kiprop 3:34.03 2 Silas Kiplangat 3:34.44 3 Elijah Manangoi 3:34.46 4 Robert Kibiwott 3:34.71 5 Timothy Cheruiyot 3:34.86 6 Ronald Kwemoi 3:35.25 7 James Magut 3:35.51 8 Charles Simotwo 3:35.86 9 Hillary Maiyo 3:36.57

5000M  1 Edwin Soi 13:30.83 2 Emmanuel Kipsang 13:33.84 3 Isiah Kiplangat 13:41.19 4 Thomas Longosiwa 13:52.91 5 Victor Chumo 13:53.67 6 Moses Koech 13:54.56 7 Alfred Ngeno 14:23.67

10000M 1 Geofrey Kamworor 27:11.89 2 Bedan Karoki 27:15.33 3 Paul Kipngetich Tanui 27:18.45 4 Vincetnt Yator 27:33.45 5 Leonard Barsoton 27:35.75 6 Geoffrey Kipkorir 27:42.66 7 James Rugaru 27:50.09 8 William Sitonik 27:54.35 9 Stephen Arita 27:55.17 10 Charles Yosei 29:02.54

3000M SC 1 Jairus Birech 8:19.55 2 Conseslus Kipruto 8:21.73 3 Brimin Kipruto 8:22.95 4 Ezekiel Kemboi 8:24.42 5 Abel Mutai 8:25.56 6 Clement Kimutai 8:27.02 7 Hillary Kemboi 8:28.80 8 Wilson Maraba 8:30.74 9 Paul Kipsiele 8:31.01 10 Joash Kiplimo 8:34.74 11 Lawrence Kipsang 8:35.23 12 Jonathan Ndiku 8:38.75 13 Abraham Kibiwott 8:44.36

400M H 1 Nicholas Bett 48.29 2 Boniface Mucheru 49.24 3 Haron Koech 49.50 4 Kiprono Koskei 49.84 5 Willy Mbevi 50.00 6 Geoffrey Kipkoech 50.40 7 Vincent Koskei 53.21 8 Wesonga Valentine 58.29

HIGH JUMP 1 Mathew Sawe 2.25 2 Amos Kipsaina 2.05 3 Nicanor Cheruiyot 2.05 4 Sammy Koech 2.00 5 Samuel Macharia 1.90

TRIPLE JUMP 1 Elijah Kimitei 16.63 2 Tera Lagat 16.30 3 Isaac Kirwa 16.07 4 Kiplagat Ruto 16.04 5 Edward Kiplimo 15.86 6 Geoffrey Leitich 15.67 7 Jockthan Kiyegon 15.07

JAVELIN MEN 1 Julius Yego 83.10 2 Alex Kiprotich 71.50 3 Nelson Yegon 70.34 4 Michael Rono 63.45

20KM Walk 1 Samuel Gathimba 1:23:12 2 Simon Wachira 1:23:45 3 David Kimutai 1:24:41 4 Sylvanus Wekesa 1:29:31 5 Erick Shikuku 1:31:11 6 Simon Misangu 1:32:36 7 Joseph Gitau 1:33:42 8 Peter Theuri 1:36.16 9 Samuel Kibet 1:38:20 10 Josephat Kimaiyo 1:42:07 11 John Lenamao 1:49:30 12 Josephat Kiprono 1:51:39

Women: 100m1 Eunice Kadogo 11.2 2 Millicent Ndoro 11.4 3 Fresha Mwangi 11.5 4 Monicah Zaphania 11.8 5 Safina Mukoswa 12.0 6 Mary Tanui 12.3 7 Diana Khaemba 12.4 8 Elizabeth Nekesa 12.5

100M HURDLES 1 Priscila Tabunda 14.0 2 Florence Wasike 14.7 3 Veronicah Chebet 15.0 4 Jackline Cheruto 17.0

200M  1 Eunice Kadogo 23.66 2 Maurine Thomas 23.82 3 Hellen Syombua 24.27 4 Millicent Ndoro 24.55 5 Safina Mukoswa 24.50 6 Rose Cherono 25.25 400M 1 Joyce Sakari 51.16 2 Maureen Jelagat 51.77 3 Jecinta Shikanda 52.29 4 Maurine Thomas 52.73 5 Emily Cherotich 54.03 6 Catherine Nandi 54.15 7 Veronicah Mutua 54.26 8 Daisy Komen 55.29

800M 1 Eunice Sum 1:59.46 2 Janeth Jepkosgei 2:00.42 3 Annet Mwanzi 2:01.46 4 Sylvia Chesebe 2:02.06 5 Winnie Chebet 2:02.38 6 Sheila Chesang 2:02.82 7 Fridah Mwikali 2:03.36 8 Jarinter Mawia 2:05.11 9 Sheila Chepkurui 2:06.41

1500M 1 Faith Chepng’etich 4:01.85 2 Mercy Cherono 4:02.21 3 Nancy Chepkwemoi 4:04.67 4 Viola Lagat 4:05.98 5 Beatrice Chepkoech 4:06.73 6 Caroline Chepkemoi 4:10.46 7 Winfred Mbithe 4:11.23 8 Nelly Chebet 4:13.75

5000M 1 Viola Kibiwott 15:42.58 2 Irene Cheptai 15:42.98 3 Janet Khisa 15:44.77 4 Margaret Kipkemboi 15:47.11 5 Alice Aprot 15:51.79 6 Rosemary Wanjiku 15:55.09 7 Irene Jelagat 16:02.02 8 Nancy Nzisa 16:03.38 9 Winfred Moseti 16:04.28 10 Mary Wangui 16:06.58 11 Janet Masai 16:15.90 12 Valentine Mateiko 16:20.78

10000M 1 Vivian Cheruiyot 32:58.4 2 Betsy Saina 32:59.2 3 Joyce Chepkurui 33:00.1 4 Gladys Chesire 33:00.9 5 Agnes Tirop 33:14.9 6 Rebecca Chesire 33:16.2 7 Beatrice Mutai 33:25.2 8 Pauline Korikwang 33:32.8 9 Jackline Chepng’eno 34:01.6

3000M SC 1 Hyvin Kiyeng 9:33.42 2 Virginia Nyambura 9:33.69 3 Rosefline Chepng’etich 9:35.75 4 Purity Cherotich 9:37.62 5 Magdalene Masai 9:42.77 6 Joan Chepkemoi 9:44.19 7 Caroline Tuigong 9:46.92 8 Daisy Jepkemei 9:50.01

 20KM Walk 1 Grace Wanjiru 1:39:53 2 Grace Thoiti 1:44:44 3 Judith Cherop 1:53:09 4 Ruth Wangui 2:00:47 5 Milka Wanja 2:07:56