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Nandi County selects athletics team

Nandi County has selected a team of 50 athletes to represent the county in the regional athletic competitions that will be held at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret next weekend.

The event that took place at the Eliud Kipchoge training camp in Kapsabet town brought together more than 300 athletes who came to participate in the competitions in a bid to secure a chance to participate in the regional championships.

Speaking to KNA after the event, Mr. Hosea Sanga, the chairperson of Nandi Athletics Kenya (AK), stated that the event allowed them to select a team of strong young men and women who would win the regional trophy.

According to Mr. Sanga, Nandi, being the ‘source of champions’ won last year’s regional championships and is confident that this year will be no different.

“We are going to battle teams from the Central Rift, which comprises of Uasin-Gishu, Baringo, and Nandi counties, on June 10 this year, and our county will retain its title,” said a confident Mr. Sanga.

The athletic competitions that will culminate in national championships are geared towards selecting athletes to join the Kenyan national team to represent Kenya internationally.

Speaking during the event, former world 800 meters champion Janeth Jepkosgei warned the selected athletes against doping, as testing will be conducted and those who test positive for doping will be punished.

Jepkosgei, who made history on August 28, 2007 by winning a gold medal in the World Championship 800 m final in Osaka, requested the AK office to support the athletes who qualified, as many of them are financially unstable.

“Many of our athletes do not always have fare since most of them are students, hence getting stranded sometimes,” said Jepkosgei.

Mr. Sanga says that through such competitions, Nandi County has managed to produce athletes who have joined Team Kenya, including Josephat Kipkirui, Maxwel Kipng’etich, and Zena Cheptoo.

The areas of competition included 10,000m, 5000m, 3000m, 1500m, 800m, 400m, 200 m, and 100m for both men and women.

In the 10,000-meter men’s category, Jackson Kipleting and Evans Kiplagat secured the first and second positions, respectively. Faith Chepchirchir and Ruth Jebitok took the first and second positions in the same category for women.

In the 5,000-meter category, Johnstone Kipkemei and Edwin Kiprop in the men’s category and Zenah Cheptoo and Pascaline Jepkorir in the women’s category carried the day.

The 3,000-meter category saw Maxon Kipng’etich, Vincent Kipchumba, Violah Chelanga, and Nancy Chepleting’ carry the day for both men and women.

In the tightly contested 1,500-meter category, Emma Jemutai and Nelly Jemeli took the first and second positions in the women’s category, respectively. As for the men’s, Josphat Kiptui and Maxon Kipng’etich carried the day.

Those who took the first and second positions, respectively, in the women’s 800m category are Mercy Kipyego and Peninah Nakang.

The 200-meter category saw Alfred Kipketer bag victory, while Jacob Kibiwott followed closely. Joan Jepkemei proved to be the fastest woman in that category, though Vivian Chepkogei nearly beat her.

In the 100-meter category for men, Nicholas Kiprotich proved to be the undisputed champion by clocking 11.17, though he was closely followed by Jacob Kibiwot, who clocked 11:20. In the women’s category, Peninah Nakang clocked 12:24, as Joan Jepkemei took the second position.

By Laban Kiplimo and Allan Too

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