Little-known Rosemary Wanjiru upstaged Olympic 10,000m fourth place finisher Alice Aprot to win the 25-lap race at the Kenya Prisons Athletics Championships at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani this morning.
Running for Coast region, the Iten-based runner led from gun to tape to time 31:50.44 as her closest challenger, 2016 African Champion in the 10,000m in Durban, South Africa, Aprot came in a distant second in 32:10.94 as Pauline Wangui (32:48.35) settled for third.
Wanjiru, whose ambition of donning the Kenyan stripes to the world championship hinges on next month’s national trials, said she is well-equipped to face her fancied opponents.She said: “I am all set for the trials. Today was part of my preparations. It will be a competitive field but making the Team Kenya is all am working for.””I have been away in Japan and the weather here didn’t affect me today. I, however, look forward to improving my time.”
Aprot on her part termed her performance ‘perfect’ and the best way to announce her return having been plagued by injuries.”I have had a difficult time with injuries and a return to a competitive level inspires me. I want to put my body back in shape ahead of the trials.”
Half Marathon silver medalist at the inaugural Africa beach games in Cape Verde, Charles Muneria, reigned supreme in the 5,000m race as he clocked a time of 13:43.4.
Muneria led a field of 15 athletes in the 12 and a half lap race as he beat off stiff competition from 2012 Olympic 5,000m bronze medalist Thomas Longosiwa (14:01.1) and Peter Emase (14:05.0) who had earlier bagged the 10,000m prize.
Two-time world U20 3,000m steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol continued her heroics as she clocked 4:12.8 to win the 1500m race despite not being her specialty. Chespol said she was working on her endurance as she prepares for the World Championships trials hits top notch.
She said: “The race is part of my preparations for the global championship trials. I am working on my endurance and fitness levels.” Second place finisher Loice Chemunung hit a time of 4:14.63 as Jackline Wambui managed 4:19.48 for third.
Guest athletes dominated the men’s category as world U20 champion George Manangoi clocked 3:49.1 to beat Rongai Athletic Club training mate Vincent Keter (3:49.5) as Laban Kiptum (3:49.8) closed the podium.
Speedster Timothy Cheruiyot won the 800m in 1:44.60 followed by Kipketer Isaac and Duncan Olerusha, who timed 1:49.37 and 1:50.28 respectively.
Margaret Nyairera won the women’s race in 2:0480 ahead of Naomi Korir (2:05.04) and Sylvia chesebe (2:06.31).