A visibly tired world under20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo finished second in his heat as the All Africa Games trials started at Moi Stadium, Kasarani yesterday.
Fresh from winning the Diamond League meeting in Rabat last weekend, Zakayo clocked 13:44.8 behind Richard Kiprop, who timed 13:44.1 in cool conditions. Simon Letaya completed the top three in 13:45.1 with Jackson Kavesa (13:45.6), Mark Lemukett (13:45.7) and Sebastian Kimasa (13:46.6) also storming the final.
Zakayo bid his time in the opening laps of the race, tucked inside the leading pack with Wesley Yego and Moses Njoroge controlling the proceedings. By the start of the fifth lap, the athletes slipped into a single file. Kiprop made his move in the seventh lap and Zakayo followed suit, running on his shoulder with Letaya and Kavesa staying close. Kiprop and Zakayo duelled each other for the next four laps with the little-known Kiprop coming home victorious.
Zakayo said his goal for the race was to qualify for the final where he expects to be in better shape. “I ran over the weekend in Morocco and I have not recovered fully. But I am confident I will qualify for the All African Games,” said Zakayo.
Richard Kimunyan won the second heat, posting 13:57.8 ahead of Paul Ndegwa (13:58.4), Reuben Mosin (13:58.7), Gideon Rono (13:58.9) and Simon Njuguna (13:59.7).
World under 20 1500m champion George Manang’oi showed class in the three and lap race by clocking 3:44.8 to top his Heat and qualify for tomorrow’s final. Manang’oi controlled the race from the gun and rarely looked troubled. Bernard Kipkorir came home second in 3:45.0 followed by Boaz Kipkurgat (3:45.3), Jonathan Sawe (3:45.8) and Matthew Kipsang (3:46.2).
“The final will be tough. We have very many good athletes but I am ready for the opposition,” said Manang’oi. “If all goes well, I also want to compete at the world championships in Doha.”
Eliud Kipsang won the second heat in 3:43.6 ahead of veteran Nixon Chepseba (3:44.0), Jeremiah Kiptanui (3:44.3), Vincent Keter (3:44.8), James Magut (3:45.1) and Collins Cheboi (3:45.3).
Mark Otieno qualified for the 100m semifinals after posting 10.4. Yasir Islan was second in 10.6 followed by Boniface Chitayi (10.8) and Charles Wamwea (10.9).
Ibrahim Muiya topped the second heat in 10.3 with Stephen Onyango (10.6) and Gilbert Otieno (10.7) giving chase.
Kiprono Kosgey topped his 400m hurdles heat in 52.4 followed by John Gikonyo (52.8) and Stephen Tenai (53.7). Edward Ngunjiri was triumphant in the second heat, posting 51.4 as Aaron Tanui (52.0) and Geoffrey Mutai (52.5) wrapped up the top three positions.