Faith Cherotich and Ronald Kipng’etich from Kipkelion destroyed their rivals to win their respective 3,000m steeplechase races during the South Rift pre-trials for World Under-20 Championships at Kericho Green Stadium on Saturday.
Benson Kiplang’at from Nakuru and Bomet’s Ezra Kiplang’at won the men’s 5,000m first and second heats respectively with the best times as Mercy Chepkemoi from Nakuru reigned supreme in women’s 5,000m.
Nakuru’s Bernard Yegon and Isca Chelangat from Kipkelion won men and women’s 3,000m races respectively.
Kipng’etich, the 2018 Africa Under-18 2,000m steeplechase bronze medallist, clocked 8 minutes and 50.57 seconds to win men’s steeplechase, beating Bomet rivals Kibet Chepkwony and Simon Kiprop in 8:53.90 and 8:59.24 respectively.
“I am focused on winning at the trials to represent Kenya again at junior level before scaling to senior level next year,” said Kipngétich.
Cherotich, the form one student at Sugutek Secondary School, Kipkelion, Kericho County, was home and dry in 11: 09.22 to rule in women’s steeplechase as athletes from Kipkelion dominated to claim the first four spots.
Cherotich edged-out Diana Chepkemoi and Triza Cherotich to second and third places in 11:57.69 and 12:12.98 respectively as Sharon Chepkemoi romped home fourth in12:20.35.
“It was a good race for me but I still need to polish on my speed and technique over the water barrier,” said Cherotich, who is eying to emulate her role model World 3,000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech.
“I also want to hold the world title and world record too like Beatrice one day…her technique over the water barrier and speed is so amazing and flawless,” said Cherotich. Chepkoech holds the world record of 8:22.92.
Benson posted the fastest time in men’s 5,000m, winning in 13:56.2 while Ezra returned the second fastest time over the distance to reign supreme in the second heat in 14:02.5.
Benson edged out Shadrack Rono and Kevin Kiprotich all from Bomet in 14:19.9 and 14:25.6 respectively while Ezra saw off Evans Cheruiyot of Kipkelion, who timed 14:20.1 for second followed by teammate Emmanuel Kipyegon in 14:27.1.
Yegon proved untouchable in 3,000m, clocking 8:04.83 to win as compatriot Daniel Kinyanjui returned 8:04.89 for second place followed by Gideon Kipng’etich also from Nakuru in 8:12.26.
Chelangat’s 9:23.4 handed her victory in women’s 3,000m to see off Faith Chebet from Nakuru and compatriot Naomy Chepkoech in 9:23.7 and 9:24.4 respectively.
Everline Chepkoech posted the fastest time in women’s 800m, winning the first heat in 2:08.19 to beat Faith Chepkoech to second place with the second overall best time of 2:09.72. Judith Kemunto clocked 2:11.98 to win the second heat with the third best time of 2:11.98.
Daniel Kiplagat won the men’s 800m third heat with the fastest time of 1:51.34 as the second heat winner Kenneth Kirui was second best in 1:51.58.