Kiprop sets the tone for National Athletics Championship at Nyayo Stadium

By ronnie evans
Jun 08, 2017
  • Asbel Kiprop leads the second lap of 1500m heat two. He effortlessly won the heat. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop set the tone on the opening day of the National Athletics Championship at Nyayo Stadium after a routine victory in his 1500m speciality on Thursday.

Kiprop, representing Kenya Police won his heat in a 3:44.2 to qualify for Friday's semi final where he will be the favorite to sail through.

He used his composed running style and his visibly lengthy strides to keep abreast with the competition before forging ahead with 100 metres to go.

Nairobi region’s Edwin Ngetich was hot on Kiprop's heel second as he crossed the line in 3:44.4. James Tenai from Kenya Prisons was third in 3:44.6. Kiprop remain adamant of improving as the competition progresses.

“Today was just about feeling the track and testing my body because there is still some races to go. I will believe that I can improve the timing in the build up to the final. We will see how it goes tomorrow in the semi-final,” he said.

In heat two, little known Evans Kipchumba representing Nairobi, upset the formbook by pipping Bernard Kipkorir to also qualify for the semi-finals. Kipchumba won the race in 3:49.6.

In the process, he beat world cross country champion Kipkorir (3:50.1) while Geoffrey Matum (3:50.4) finished third.

In the third heat, Justus Kipchumba (Central Rift) was victorious in 3:44.7 while Timothy Cheruiyot representing Kenya Prisons crossed second in 3:45.0 while Kenya Defence Forces’ Charles Simotwo completed the top three in 3:45.5 to qualify for the semi-finals.

KDF 400m champion and Olympian Alphas Kishoyian was pleased with his start and expects a stiff competition after qualifying for the semi-finals.

“I was just heating up today and I feel like I am in great shape. It will be tough but I am optimistic of performing well,” he said.

Kishoyian put a solid final Sprint sail home in the 400m after clocking 46.8. Kevin Kiprotich from Kenya Prisons was second in 47.1 while Evans Omulo (47.5) who turned up for the Universities category was third.

The 400m women's heats saw Kenya Police duo of Maximilla Emali and Jacinta Shikanda qualify for the semi-finals. Emali eased to the next round after winning her heat in 53.2.

Kenya Prisons’ Mercy Adija crossed in 54.7 while Sabina Mukoswa (56.5) was placed third. they both qualified.

In the other heat, Shikanda clocked 54.2 followed closely by Vivian Michira (56.3) from Kenya Prisons and Daisy Komen (KDF) came in third after clocking 57.0.

Action resumes on Friday where tickets to the finals will be up for grabs in various disciplines.