World 5000m Champion Hellen Obiri posted her third straight win as the 39th Kenya Defence Championships got underway at Kasarani Stadium yesterday.
She announced her intentions to represent Kenya at the Africa Senior Athletics Championships (in Asaba, Nigeria) and pick a slot in the team to IAAF Continental Cup that run in Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8-9. The Continental Cup is the only silverware missing out from Obiri’s trophy cabinet.
Obiri, the Olympic silver medalist, stormed into the lead in the fifth lap, opening 200m gap before strolling to victory in 14:48.5. Joyline Koima of Mtongwe (15:03.6) came second ahead of Kahawa’s Gladys Kimana (15:06.8).
Thika’s Peninnah Kandia (15:16.2) returned fourth while world cross country veteran Innes Chenonge (15:19.5) of Moi Air Base checked in fifth.
“I am happy to have defended my title today. I did not perform well in the last two Diamond League meetings. I have been feeling too tired. I want to make the team to Africa Senior Athletics Championships and then head to Continental Cup in Ostrava,” said 28-year-old Obiri.
She added: “It will be my second time if I make it to the Continental Cup. I competed in 2014 in 1500m and finished fourth in 1,500m.”
In men’s 400m hurdles semi-finals, Olympic silver medalist Boniface Mucheru booked a place in tomorrow’s finals alongside reigning national champion Willy Mbevi who registered 51.6 seconds.
Mucheru, who clocked 52.1 seconds, will not defend his Africa title he won in Durban two years ago: “I have not recovered fully from the hamstring injury I picked two years ago. It’s unfortunate I will not feature in the Africa Senior Athletics Championships. I have been advised not rush into competitive races.”
In 5000m, 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion James Magut sailed into 1,500m finals after clocking 3:47.1. Collins Koros came second in 3:47.4 while Dennis Kilele finished third in 3:47.7. In the other semis Charles Simotwo won in 3:54.4 ahead of Lawi Kosgei (3:54.7).
Cc Standard Sports Kenya