Kwemoi, Kiprotich punch Bydgoszcz World Juniors tickets

Women 5000m winner, Emmaculate Chelangat being interviewed by the press after running 15:44.2 at the National ...
Women 5000m winner, Emmaculate Chelangat being interviewed by the press after running 15:44.2 at the National Trials for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Nairobi. PHOTO/AK

Rodgers Kwemoi and Ronald Kiprotich Kirui punched their tickets to the IAAF World Junior Championships at the opening day of the National Trials for Bydgoszcz 2016 at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium on Tuesday.

Kwemoi and Kirui braved the cold and the intermittent showers that hit the Kenyan capital to follow each other across the line for the 1-2 in the men 10,000m final with the clocks returning impressive times at punishing elevation of 28:36.76 against 28:38.11 in a thrilling conclusion to the 25-lap showdown.

Thid placed Matthew Kipkorir Kimeli just missed out on the party after running 28:40.76 to close the posium with the trio well under the 31:29.30 standard for the World Juniors.

“My aim today was to make it to the team. During the last few hundred meters I was behind and that’s when I made my move and settled behind the leader. I was careful not to be passed since I wanted to represent Kenya for the second time and I’m happy I made it, ” Kirui who bagged the second medal at last year’s Pan African Games (formerly All Africa Games) exuded with delight.

They will be joined by Immaculate Chepkirui, 16, who ran with the honours in the women 5000m in 15:42.4 ahead of the hard fighting Catherine Syokau who stopped the timer at 15:44.0 as both celebrated making the team.

“The weather was favourable. I thought it would be very hot in the afternoon. Making it to finish top was not easy especially when the  pace of the race suddenly increased. I maintained my pace and thought of Mercy Cherono who was my inspiration and eventually made it,” Chepkirui who is inspired by the Moscow 2013 Worlds silver winner and past World Junior champion said.

To deal with the age-cheating menace that has blighted previous Junior Trials, Athletics Kenya (AK) did a through Vetting of the participants to ensure that there will be no age cheating incidences.

“AK vetted the participants age by use of birth certificates and a follow up to verify the true age to avoid cheating, there has been several cases of before. I believe the process was transparent, ” the federation’s Public Relations officer, Evan Bosire, underscored.

A team of 26 athletes is expected to be named Wednesday for Bydgoszcz, Poland and will report camp June 28 and depart for the on July 15 for the 16th edition of the biennial event.

Initially the championship were to be held in Karzan, Russia but after the country was banned from hosting any athletics events it was settled that the event will be held in Poland.

Selected results

5000m women’s

1. Emmaculate Chepkirui 15:42.4
2. Catherine Syokau  15:44.0
3. Evaline Chelangat 15:44.2

10,000m men

1. Rogers Kwemoi  28:36.76
2. Ronald Kiprotich Kirui 28:38.11
3. Mathew Kipkorir Kimeli 28:40.76

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Story By Charity Wanja
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