OLYMPIC 800m champion Pamela Jelimo succumbed to Joyce Zakari in the 400m final as the curtains came down on the national athletics championships at the Moi, Kasarani yesterday. Jelimo posted 52.9 secs in the one-lap race as Zakari proved superior in the event. She posted 52.0 while Catherine Nandi completed the top three positions in 54.3 secs.
Commonwealth silver medallist, Mercy Njoroge clocked 9:40.0 to win the women’s 3000m steeplechase final Njoroge, running for Kenya Defence Forces, beat rising star Ivin Jepkemoi (North Rift) by a second while Administration Police’s Faneca Chemutai was third in 9:42.8. Njoroge, said her performance was a major boost towards the London Olympics, whose trials will be held next weekend at Nyayo Stadium.
Abel Mutai of the Kenya Defence Forces won the men’s steeplechase after posting 8:27.7 ahead of Wilson Maraba (Eastern), who came home second in 8:28.0. Pre-race favourite Abraham Chirchir also of Defence Forces faded to third place in 8:28.2.
KDF’s Gladys Cherono clocked 15:39.5 to win the women’s 5,000m race. She was followed by former world junior champion Veronicah Nyaruai (KDF) in 15:40.8 while Janeth Khisa (Police) sealed the top three slots in 15:41.7.
Kenya Police’s Geoffrey Kipsang won the men’s edition of the 12-lap race, clocking 13:31.3. He was closely followed by Jonathan Maiyo of North Rift in 13:32.0 while Timothy Kiptoo of Kenya Prisons was third in 13:33.1. World Indoor champion Hellen Obiri (KDF) was in a class of her own as she ruled the 1,500m race, clocking 4:07.4 ahead of Kenya Police duo of Margaret Wangari (4:09.0) and Mary Kuria (4:11.0).
Caleb Mwangangi of the Kenya Police won the men’s edition of the three-lap race in a time of 3:33.85. The race saw world indoor championships finalist Bethwel Birgen of the Administration Police fade to eighth after clocking a poor 3:39.83. Defence Forces runner James Magut was second in 3:34.6 while AP’s Abednego Chesebe took the last podium slot in 3:35.02.
The 2008 Olympics finalist Eunice Sum of the Kenya Police romped to victory in women’s 800m in 1:59.75. Jane Jelagat of KDF managed a second slot finish in 2:00.90 while Sylvia Chesebe of Kenya Prisons posted 2:01.21 for third place.
Anthony Chemut of South Rift won the men’s edition in a time 1:46.1 ahead of Cornellius Kiplagat (KDF) second in 1:46.4 and Richard Kiplagat (AP) third in 1:46.7.
Africa Championships team
Women: 20km walk: Grace Wanjiru, Emily Ngii; 10,000m: Priscah Jepleting, Betsy Saina, Margaret Akai; 3000m SC: Mercy Njoroge, Inin Kiyeng, Fanenca Chemutai; 400m/H: Maureen Jelagat; 800m: Eunice Sum, Jane Jelagat, Sylvia Chesebe; 400m: Joyce Zakari,
Pamela Jelimo, Catherine Nandi; 1,500m: Margaret Wangari, Maru Kuria, Berin Nenkambi.
Men: 100m: Ibrahim Muya, Tony Chirchir, Emmanuel Lentukunye; 800m: Anthony Chemut, Cornelius Kiplagat, Richard Kplagat; 400m: Vincent Mumo, Bonface Mweresa, Mark Mutai; 5000m: Geoffrey Kipsang, Jonathan Maiyo, Timothy Kiptoo; 1,500m: Caleb Mwangangi, James Magut, Abednego Chesebe; 3000m SC: Abel Mutai, Wilson Maraba, Abraham Chirchir; Javelin: Julius Yego