Kiprop, Chebet seek to extend dominance at Nairobi AK meet
African Games 5000m champion Robert Kiprop and world under-20 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet are some of the star attraction expected at the second Athletics Kenya (AK) Track and Field slated for Thursday and Friday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
The duo reigned supreme in 5000m at the first meet held a fortnight ago at the University of Eldoret after Kiprop edged out a strong field that included the reigning Family Bank Half marathon champion Daniel Simiyu while Chebet held off her training partner Sandra Chebet and Lydia Jeruto en route to winning the race.
Although her specialization is in 5000m, Chebet together with Sandra will be competing in 10000m as revealed by his Lemotit Athletics Camp tactician Paul Kemei.
“We have decided that they (Beatrice and Sandra) will compete in 10k as we want them to build on their endurance ahead of the buy season,” Kemei told Citizen Digital.
In Eldoret, Chebet and Sandra were in a race of their own as the pair destroyed the field to a 1-2 finish with Chebet clocking 15:57.4 as Sandra timed 15:57.9 as Jeruto came home a distant third in 16:11.4.
After making the Kenyan team to Africa Cross Country Championships, Chebet revealed that her target has now shifted to Olympic Games.
“I am using with weekend meets to develop my speed and endurance because my main aim this year is to qualify for the Olympic Games. Since I graduated to the senior ranks, I have gained a lot of experience especially in the Diamond League series and I know I have what it takes to perform at the big stage,” said Chebet.
On his part, Kiprop will be seeking to defend his crown in the 5000m and thus is expected to renew rivalries with Simiu who placed second at the Eldoret meet.
At the same time, AK Nairobi region chairman Barnabas Korir has urged athletes to turn up in large numbers as the event will be the only leg to be competed in a tartan track.
“This meet will be very important because it will be run in tartan track and this will give our athletes an opportunity to weigh their training as this will be a very busy season. Remember we have the Continental Tour, Africa Senior Championships as well as the Olympic Games coming up,” Korir told Citizen Digital.
The men’s 10000m and women’s 5000m as well as the men’s triple jump and Hammer are some of the finals lined up for Thursday.
Others are; Discus (men), and women’s High Jump, Long Jump, Javelin and Pole Vault.
After the Nairobi event, athletes will head to Embu for the third leg on March 21-22 before Kisumu hosts the fourth and final leg on April 4-5.
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