Chepng’etich, Mutunga lead chase
World Youth medallists are expected to light up the World Juniors national trials at Nyayo National Stadium on Friday.
World Cross Country junior champion Faith Chepng’etich and bronze medallist Patrick Mutunga will lead the chase for slots in Kenya’s squad to the 14th IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships in Barcelona, Spain, from 10th to 15th next month.
Chepng’ectich, also the World Youth 1,500 metres champion, has her task cut out in the four-lap race contest, basking on her sizzling four minutes, 3.82 seconds – the world’s second lead time in the four-lap race – that she posted at Diamond League leg in Shanghai a fortnight ago.
The 18-year-old, seeking a global junior track debut in the national colours, will be up against Sheila Chepng’etich, the two-time East Africa 1,500m title holder, and the Kenya secondary schools champion, new talent Margaret Chelimo.
The winners need to counter Ethiopia’s Genetso Tibiso, the Kenyan challenger at last year’s World Youth showpiece in Lille, France.
World Youth 3,000m bronze medallist Caroline Chepkoech and Olympic 3,000m champion Gladys Chesir renew their rivalry with Zipporah Wanjiru, the global youth silver medallist in women’s 5,000m.
Lille veterans Agatha Jeruto and Lydia Chepchirchir will square it out with Margaret Chelimo in the two-lap race as Diana Mutwenje and Maurine Cherono face World Youth semi-finalist Nevian Michira in 400m.
World Youth 3,000m bronze medallist Patrick Mutunga and Japan-based William Malel are expected to clash in 10,000m while Africa Cross Country silver medallist Japhet Korir will lead the 5,000m charges, fighting it out with Cyrus Ruto and Moses Mukono of St Patrick’s High School-Iten.
World Youth 800m record holder Leonard Kosencha (1:44.08), 18, will walk a tight rope against World Indoor bronze medallist Timothy Kitum in the two-lap race carrying a 1:43.60 personal best time.
Kosencha was second at Shanghai Diamond League while Kitum banks on the 1:44.00 all-time mark posted last May.
The winners are likely to meet Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman, who ended world record holder David Rudisha’s 26 straight wins last season.
World Youth silver and bronze medallists Vincent Mutai and Kiplimo Sawe are expected to blaze the 1,500m trail as World Youth 400m silver medallist Alphas Kishoyian and East Africa champion Josphat Ng’eno heat the one-lap race action.
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