Purity Chepkirui stole the show at the South Rift Regional Track and Field Athletics Championships held at Kericho Green Stadium.
In an interview with KNA, the upcoming athlete, a Form Two student at Tiloa Mixed Secondary School Nakuru County bagged gold in the 1500m women category during World Athletics U20 championships held in August last year at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi having clocked 4:16.07.
Chepkirui, stormed to victory in the 1,500m after timing 4:10.9 beating her closest rival reigning 2016 Africa Junior Cross-Country champion Miriam Cherop who made 4:14.5 and in the third position Faith Chepkoech who clocked 4:15.5 in the tight race of 14 contestants.
“The race was good and my training at Tiloa primary school has borne fruit. I did my best because I aimed at earning a ticket for the National Championships,” an elated Chepkirui said.
The 18-year-old who hails from Tiloa village in Kuresoi, Nakuru said she was optimistic in representing Kenya in the international events slated later this year.
Prominent and upcoming athletes from Kericho, Bomet, Laikipia, Nakuru, Kajiado and Narok featured in the track and field events which included the reigning Women’s Berlin Marathon Champion Gladys Cherono and Boston Marathon winner Geoffrey Koech Mutai.
The men’s 1500m race Constandy Cheruiyot grabbed the number one slot with 3:46.5, Daniel Kosen clocked 3:47.0 and Gilbert Rono came in third having clocked 3:49.5.
The region is set to select athletes who will compete at the National Athletics Championships trials set for 28 April at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi.
South Rift Athletics Kenya (AK) Chairman Mr John Wachira commended the seasoned and upcoming athletes from the regions for their exemplary performances adding there was no doubt they will represent Kenya at global events slated for this year.
“South Rift has a strong team and from what I have seen today they have qualified athletes who we will depend on to win gold medals for Kenya,” observed Wachira.
Athletes competed in the 100m, 110m, 200m, 400m, 400m relay, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m, 10000m and field events such as javelin, discus throw, long jump and shot put.
Major events to watch out for in 2022 include 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships scheduled to be held in Eugene, Oregon, United States from 15th to 24th July, and the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham from 28th July to 8th August.
By Sarah Njagi