Resilient Cheruiyot stuns Kiprop to win 1500m

By ronnie evans
Jun 11, 2017
  • Mark Otieno clinched both the 100m and 200m men’s titles in the absence of Kenya Defence Forces’ 2016 champion Mike Mokamba. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Timothy Cheruiyot stunned three-time 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop to win the race as the curtains came down on the National Athletics Championship at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

Cheruiyot, the Africa 1500m silver medalist had a show of resilience as he went to to toe with race favorite Kiprop in the final lap to cross the line in 3:41.2. Kiprop, who turned up for Kenya Police was second in 3:41.4.

Focus now shifts to the national trials slated for June 23-24 where slots for the World Athletics Championship in London, England will be up for grabs.

Meanwhile, it was double delight for little known sprint maestro Mark Otieno who clinched both the 100m and 200m men’s titles in the absence of Kenya Defence Forces’ 2016 champion Mike Mokamba due to injury.

Otieno, representing Eastern bagged his first title in the morning session when a solid bend enabled him to forge ahead of the competition. He sailed home in 20.40.

It was revealed that the mark was within the World Championship qualifying time. Compatriot Dennis Otieno was second in 20.64 while KDF’s Charles Wamwea rounded up the podium places in 20.82.

In his 100m speciality, Otieno coupled a solid start with a powerful drive in the final thirty as he secured the double in 10.14 seconds.

He was elated with his dynamic performance as both were his maiden titles. “I feel great today with my performance. It was not an easy feat and I believe that I can do even better at the trials and improve my time. I came prepared and good finishing helped me in my races,” he said.

Kimeli turned on style

In the much anticipated men’s 10,000m, South Rift’s Patrick Kimeli turned on the style in the final three laps as he won the race in 27:53.9. He held off the resolve of Kenya Police cross country specialist Vincent Rono in 27:56.0.

Matthew Kisorio also with the law enforcers came in third as he clocked 27:57.5. “I came here ready and trained well. This win is important and is part of my preparation for the trials. It will boost my goal of qualifying for the World Championship,” Rono said.

In other short races, KDF’s William Mbevi won the men’s 110m hurdles title in 14.0. Kenya Police's Kipkorir Rotich was a close second in 14.3. Kenya Prisons’ Sammy Korir squeezed in for third in 14.8 seconds.

KDF also dominated the women’s category. Sabina Sabinawa representing the military unit bagged the women’s 200m title as she clocked 24.67 with Damaris Akoth Kenya Prisons crossing in 24.84. Rose Wataka (Nairobi region) was third in 25.13 seconds.

Priscilla Tabunda (KDF) was triumphant in the women's 100m hurdles in 14.2 seconds. She had solid jumps in the final three hurdles to edge teammate Jerioth Gathogo (14.7). Hyving Chepkemoi from Kenya Prisons was placed third in 15.3 seconds.