•Noah Kibet of Ndura Athletics Camp crossed the finish line in 2:20.3 ahead of Cornelius Tuwei and Vincent Keter.
•Otieno and Moraa won their respective races in 150m and 500m
•The relay series is first of three events that will culminate in trials to select Team Kenya to the World Relay Championship in Selesia, Poland on May 1-2.
Noah Kibet of Ndura Athletics Camp won the 1,000m men’s race as the first of Athletics Kenya’s relay series went down at the Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi on Saturday.
On a cold, rainy morning, Kibet crossed the finish line in 2:20.3 ahead of Cornelius Tuwei and Vincent Keter, who clocked 2:20.6 and 2:22.6, respectively.
“The race was quite competitive but I thank God that the training provided by my coach paid off. This win is the perfect way to begin the year as I prepare for other upcoming races,” Kibet said.
In Heat 2, Nicholas Kiplagat timed 2:21.4 to beat Jeremiah Mutai and Vallertide Weinars to top spot. Mutai clocked 2:24.0 whereas Dutchman Weinars came in third a second later in 2:25.1.
Kiplagat said the race was to test his readiness for the World Indoor 800m championships in which he plans to compete.
“There is still room for improvement before I can reach the level of fitness that is required. This year, I have very high ambitions one of them being to reduce my personal best,” Kiplagat said.
In the women’s 1,000m, Vivian Chebet ran 2:46.7 to cross the finish line ahead of Judy Jepkoech and Peninah Wangari, who clocked 2:48.3 and 2:49.4 respectively.
The 2019 African Games 4x400m representative Mary Moraa won the 500m women’s race in 71.0 ahead of Sylvia Chesebe (72.9) and Janet Chepkoech (75.0).
National 100m champion Mark Otieno reigned supreme in the 150m men’s race with a time of 15.5 – ahead of his close competitors Zablon Ekwam (15.8) and Gilbert Osure (16.0).
In the 4x400m mixed relays, Christine Ndanu of Machakos fend off strong opposition to hand her team victory ahead of Kenya Prisons and Torongo Athletics Camp.
Machakos finished in 3:29.6 whereas Kenya Prisons and Torongo clocked 3:32.7 and 3:35.7 respectively.
“We have not been training well because Covid-19 has restricted our movements so I am impressed by the results today considering these circumstances. As a team we have been working on our chemistry and this has been integral to our victory today,” Ndanu said.
Speaking at the conclusion of the event, AK sprints coach Stephen Mwaniki described the performance as satisfactory and a starting point for a rigorous training schedule that AK has developed to improve athletes’ speed, fitness and endurance.
“Overall, the performance has been encouraging. We could see that most of the athletes were eager to run after a long time of sporting inactivity. Obviously, there is room for improvement. Hopefully, by March when we hold the trials, the performance will be up to the required level,” Mwaniki said.
He underlined AK’s commitment to build up on Kenya performance at the World Relay Championship in Yokohama, Japan where the team bagged a bronze medal.
The next legs of the series will be on January 23 and February 6 before the national trials on March 26-27 at Nyayo Stadium to select Team Kenya to the World Relay Championships set for Poland on May 1-2.