Athletics Kenya yesterday started World Under-20 preparation process by gauging the level of fitness of the athletes as the two-day National Pre-trials Championships started at Nyayo stadium.
The global junior Championships was originally slated for this year, but Covid-19 pandemic saw the event being pushed to next year August 17 to 22.
The two-day pre-trial event at Nyayo will involves athletes from all the regions who have been invited on the basis of quota allocations.
Kuresoi-based Purity Chepkirui showed her fitness was in good shape despite lack of competition in the last few months as she reigned supreme in the women’s 1,500m event clocking 4:15.8 in first place. Winnie Jemtai clocked 4:28.1 for second place.
“I decided to front run and I’m glad it paid off. My aim is to be in good shape and eventually make the team next year,” said the 16-year old Chepkirui who adores Olympic champion Faith Chepkirui.
Africa 3,000m junior bronze medallist Gedion Rono won the 5,000m heat one. Rono clocked 13:33.5 followed by Victor Kimtai who finished second in 13:46.8 as Levi Chematot placed third in 13:47.5.
Victor Kimtai produced a top performance in the men’s 5000m heat two ahead Reuben Mosin and Felix Korir.
Judy Chepkoech topped the women’s 3,000m steeplechase by crossing the line in 9:02.8 as Marion Cheruiyot (9:11.4) and Winnie Kimtai (9:25.5) finished second and third.
In the men’s 3000m qualifying round, Edwin Kisaisak emerged victorious .
“Though I managed to win, I still have to put more effort in my training and improve on my performance,” Kisaisak.
In the women’s 5,000m qualifying race, Cynthia Chepngeno ran from behind to win the race at the homestretch.