Kimutai, Chepchirchir shine at Under-20 Championships pre-trials meet
Edna Chepkemoi leads Dorothy Kimutai in going over a barrier in the women 3000m steeplechase during the Under-20 pre-trials at Nyayo Stadium on November 21, 2020. [Dennis Okeyo]

Dorothy Kimutai and Nelly Chepchirchir were outstanding as the two-day pre-trial meet for the World Under-20 Championships ended at Nyayo Stadium yesterday. 

Athletics Kenya (AK) used the two-day event to select probable athletes ahead of the World Under-20 Championships slated for August 17-22 next year in Nairobi.

The global event was slated to be held this year, but was postponed due to Covid-19 disruptions.

The selected runners will be placed in camps across the country to prepare for the national pre-trials next April. 

Chepchirchir, a Fourth Former at St Francis Cheptarit Secondary School in Mosoriot dominated the women’s 800m clocking 2:07.3 ahead of Sheila Jepkosgei who settled for second place in 2:07.4 while Eunice Boke registered 2:10.8 in third place. 

“I felt comfortable during the race, though I had not trained for sometime because we are in school and we aren’t allowed to go out hence training is tough,” said the 17-year Chepchirchir, who is trained by former world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei. 

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, Kimutai out-sprinted Ednah Chepkemoi at the homestretch to win the event in 10:04.4 with Keringet-based Chepkemoi clocking 10:05.0 for second place. Betty Chelangat was a distant third in 10:16.6. 

“We have not trained much but I’m happy with my performance. My hope is to keep working hard and get an opportunity to represent Kenya at the World Under-20 event,” said the Kapcherop-based Kimutai. 

In the girl’s 3000m, Judy Chepkoech reigned supreme, running 9:02.8 in top spot as Marion Cheruiyot (9:11.4) and Winnie Kimtai (9:25.5) finished second and third respectively.

in the the men’s 3000m, Amos Serena produced a dominant performance to win the race in 8:44.4 with Kiplagat Rotich finishing second in 8:46.2 while Brian Koech was third in 8:59.9. 

Barnaba Korir, the AK Youth Committee chair said the federation is aiming to pick at least 60 athletes for further training ahead of the main trials that will be held next year.

“The event we are having is the first pre-trial. We will have a similar event in April next year. We actually want to assess and spot the probable athletes who will make the team and at the moment, we are targeting between 60 and 70 athletes,” Korir said. 

 

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