Day 2 of the Kenyan athletics Trials, A view from Kenya, by Justin Lagat

Men's Steeplechase final, Kenyan Trials, photo by Justin Lagat/

Women's Steeplechase final, Kenyan Trials, photo by Justin Lagat/

The Kenyan Trials for the World Champs were held on July 31 and August 1. A fantastic two days of competitions and Justin Lagat has caught them here for you. Yesterday, Justin wrote his piece on the first day of the Championships. Today's piece is on day two of the championships. Justin is already back home from Nairobi, after his journey to the Kenyan 
National Trials. 

We hope you enjoy. 

Day 2 of the Kenyan athletics trials, by Justin Lagat

There was so much excitement and electrifying races on the last day of the Kenyan athletics trials today. The fans were also more in numbers and louder than they were in the first day as they cheered their favorite athletes. Even the president of Kenya himself was present in the stadium.

Geoffrey Kamworor ran the fastest time ever recorded on Kenyan soil to win the men's 10,000m event in 27:11.89. Bedan Karoki, just like at the world cross country championships early this year, followed him to cross the line in 27:15.33. Paul Tanui finished third in 27:18.45. With about six laps to go, the three athletes were running in a pack with Karoki pushing the pace most of the time, and Tanui doing it when he wasn't. Kamworor remained patient in second position. However, as soon as the bell was rung, Kamworor took the lead and continued to open a sizable gap as he accelerated to the finish line. The three eventually formed a formidable team to represent the country at the world championships in Beijing and hopefully they will be able to win the elusive men's 10,000m gold medal for Kenya.

Kamworor wins 10,000 meters, photo by Justin Lagat/ Kenyan Athlete

Almost like he did during the London Diamond League race, Asbel Kiprop played with the field in the men's 1500m event. He stayed behind until the last 500m when he slowly started to move towards the front, to the excitement of the spectators. At the bell, he was almost at the lead, but seemingly relaxed again inside the pack until the last 100m when he took the lead and a gap between him and the rest quickly grew. He saluted as he crossed the finish line in 3:34.03. His long time rival in this event, Silas Kiplagat finished second in 3:34.44 as Elijah Manangoi came third in 3:34.46.

The women 1500m race became a duel between Mercy Cherono and Faith Chepng'etich with 300m to go and it was Faith who prevailed with a stronger finishing kick, winning in 4:01.85 against Cherono's 4:02.21.

The weather during both the men and women 5000m events was hot, at 1 pm in the afternoon. Approximately half of the athletes who started the races did not get to finish them. Edwin Soi came gradually from behind to win the men's race in 13:30.83 after Emmanuel Kipsang and Thomas Longosiwa had burned themselves out as they pushed a fast pace at the front. Longosiwa faded in the last few laps to end up in 5th position. Kipsang managed to stick behind Soi as he passed by him to finish second in 13.33.84. Violah Jelagat won the women race in 15.42.58, Irene Cheptai was second in 15.42.98 and Janet Khisa took third in 15.44.77.

With Ezekiel Kemboi, Jairus Birech and Conseslus Kipruto in the men's 3000m steeplechase race, it was bound to be an exciting one and for sure it was. Jairus started by opening some gap in the first stages of the race, then he relaxed into the pack. Ezekiel Kemboi came to the front and pointed at a spot in front of him for Jairus to stay, which could have been a psychological game, and Jairus took the challenge and made sure that a hard pace was maintained for the rest of the race. Jairus won the race in 8:19.55, Conseslus was second in 8:21.73, Brimin Kipruto finished third and Ezekiel Kemboi came in fourth, danced to Emily Jepchumba song and pointed his finger towards the direction of China.

In the women race, Hyvin Kiyeng and Virginia Nyambura fought hard to the finish line where Kiyeng edged Nyambura to win in a close margin; 9:33.42 against 9:33.69. Rosefline Chepng'etich finished third while Purity Kirui came in fourth.
The last events of the day were the men and women 800m races. Eunice Sum won the women race comfortably in 1:59.46, followed by Janeth Jepkosgei in 2:00.42 and Annet Mwanzi in 2:01.46.

Ferguson Rotich caught David Rudisha with 50 meters to go in the men's race and proceeded to win it in an impressive time of 1:43.60, Rudisha followed in 1:43.89 while Alfred Kipketer was third in 1:44.07.

One athlete who was definitely in a class of his own at the Kenyan trials was the YouTube athlete, Julius Yego who did not disappoint his fans as he threw 83.10m to win the Javelin Throw clear ahead of the rest of the participants. He said he hopes that his best throw will happen in Beijing as he will be aiming to better his personal record there as well as trying to win the gold medal.

Julius Yego, Javelin star, after his release, photo by Justin Lagat/Kenyan athlete

The good news we heard today was that Sally Kipyego was finally added in the list of the women's 10,000m after a stomach cramp had prevented her from finishing the race yesterday.

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