• Chepng'etich clocked 31:47.9 to clinch the national title for the women's 10,000m.
•She described the race as tougher than her win at the Kenya Prisons Athletics Championships
•Other finals on Day One included the men's decathlon long jump and women's hammer throw
World marathon champion Ruth Chepng'etich described her 10,000m win at the Athletics Kenya national championships as a laboured victory that stretched her abilities to the limit.
Chepng'etich clocked 31:47.9 to clinch the national title as her Kenya Prisons compatriot, Alice Aprot (32:01.0) and Kenya Defence Forces' Judy Komen (32:32.6) trailed.
"Compared to the Kenya Prisons Athletics Championships, today's competition was tougher. I had decided to take control of the race from the onset and this called for more energy than usual. I thank God for the strength that He has given me to win this race," Chepng'etich said.
The Nagoya Women's Marathon champion joined the disciplined force a month ago and made her track debut for them shortly afterwards, successfully doubling in the 5000m and 10,000m at the Kenya Prisons championships a fortnight ago.
Expounding on her victory on a hot day at Moi Stadium, Kasarani, Chepngetich explained her pride at competing for her employers.
"It is part of my job to run for Kenya Prisons and I am proud at the opportunity they have given me to work for and represent them in these championships. This is my second ever race on track and I am so delighted to have notched another victory. It really motivates me going forward to the international competitions," the Istanbul Half Marathon champion said.
She is expected to fly the Kenyan flag in the women's marathon at the World Championship in Oregon, United States where she will be defending the title she won at the last previous in Doha, Qatar in 2019.
Other members of the women's team to the biennial event include Amsterdam Marathon champion Angela Tanui, Paris Marathon champion Judith Jeptum and Maureen Jepkemoi.
Chepng'etich defined the three-day national championship as the perfect preparation for Oregon.
"It is all part of my objective to build endurance as we head to Oregon. I am looking forward to the challenge of defending my title. It is always a pleasure and an honour to be called up to represent your country. I am a Kenyan and so it makes me proud to carry my country's flag. Oregon is where my next focus is," she said.
The national championships are doubling up as the national trials for the Senior Africa Athletics Championships in Reduit, Mauritius on June 8-15.
In other finals on Day One, KDF's Lucy Omondi's throw of 52.55m was enough to secure victory in the women's hammer throw as Kenya Prisons' Linda Oseso (49.28m) and National Police Service's Roselyne Rakamba (48.95m) finished second and third respectively.
Kenya Prisons' Edwin Too jumped 7.36m to take the crown in the men's decathlon long jump, ahead of KDF's Vincent Tarus (6.59m) and Police's Gilbert Koech (6.56m) in second and third.
The top three finishers in each category will earn their ticket to Mauritius. The action continues on Wednesday.