Four national records fall as Sprinters steal the show at Kasarani

By evelyn watta
Jul 12, 2021
  • Joyce Sakari broke the 400m Kenyan record on Saturday.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Mike Mokamba celebrates 100m men win.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

The early season kick off for Kenyan sprinters positively paid off as three national records went in the hammer on Saturday as runners chased World championships qualifying times and trials tickets.

The Safaricom Kasarani stadium track bereft of the very best middle and long distance runners due to a clash with the Diamond League series meetings, nevertheless produced several strong performances in the short races.

The world relays in May meant early rounds of training and competition as the runners chased Bahamas tickets.

Mike Mokamba led the rout as he lowered the 100m national record. His10.23 seconds dash ahead of promising Mark Otieno(10.48), erased Tom Musinde’s 2007 All Africa games mark of 10.26.

“It all goes down to good training and performances this season,”said a delighted Mokamba also hopeful of attaining the World championships mark which could lower the record.

2014 African Bronze medalist Francisca Koki improved her own national record by 0.02 seconds. Koki hurdled to 55.84 last September in Morocco and was in a class of her own as she won the national title at Kasarani in 55.82 seconds.

Her closest challenger was Jerioth Gathogo way back in 59.31 as Florence Wasike timed third in 60.04.

Sakari lowers mark in 400m and 200m

Joyce Sakari thrilled with a 51.14 seconds run in the women’s 400m erasing Rose Waithera’s 31 year old mark of 51.56 seconds in the 1984 Olympic final.

Maureen Jelagat, the former African bronze holder also ran within the old mark as well as Jecinta Shikanda third in 53.06 seconds.

Sakari could have claimed two national records in hours but her 22.4 seconds run in the 200m was annulled, as it was hand timed.

It would have bettered the long-standing record held by Waithera the 1979 African bronze medalist. Waithera’s record of 23.37 from the Los Angeles Olympic games remains intact.

The men’s 400m was a closely contested final with Alex Sampao beating last years national champion Alphas Kishoyan in 44.72 seconds.

Kishoyian clocked 44.75 with Raymond Kibet third in 45.30 all within Beijing’s qualifying mark. “I am really excited with the sprints today, its proof that we cannot afford to begin the season in March and expect results,” said Sprints coach Steven Mwaniki.

“You see the long and middle distance runners have the cross country and road races to prepare for the track but we only have the relays, so even without the relays we have to maintain the early competition.”