Julius Yego got the honors to warm up the field on the second day of the Kenyan trials as the men’s Javelin Throw started the day. A throw of 80.62 secured him the win as he was well ahead of Alexander Kiprotich who threw 77.95 to finish second.
First on track was the men’s 400m of which Wiseman Were won in 49.09. William Mbevi was second in 50.23, while US-based Moitalel Mpoke finished third in 50.51. But, at the end of the day, Moitalel became the only runner to be going out to represent the country in this event.
After the defending champion, Hellen Obiri choose not to run again in the 5000m race since she already has the wild card as a defending champion, Selah Jepleting won the race.
After some early pacing by Margaret Chelimo who had come back to try her luck again in the 5000m race as she waited on a decision by the technical officials to see if her name would be on the team and had led from the gun for almost the first 2000m; Eva Cherono would soon step at the front and increase the pace leaving some runners trailing in a single file behind them.
But, it was Jepleting who emerged victorious as she set a faster pace in the last two laps before winning the race in 15:05.24. Beatrice Chebet became second in 15:07.74 ahead of Chelimo who ended up in third place again. The good news is that her efforts were seen by the technical officials and she eventually got to be named in both the 10,000m and 5,000m teams for the world championships.
The young and relatively new Jackline Chepkoech battled it out with Celliphine Chespol in the last few laps of the women’s 3000m steeplechase race to eventually become the winner in 9:21.84 against Chespol’s 9:32.50. Purity Kirui came in at 9:36.29 to secure third place. It was quite disappointing for the fans as the big names in this event; Beatrice Chepkoech (world record holder) and Hyvin Kiyeng did not turn up at the starting line.
In the men’s 1500m race, Abel Kipsang edged Timothy Cheruiyot in another one of the most competitive events at the championships as four runners crossed the finish line in a “blanket finish”. Kipsang ran 3:34.55, Cheruiyot was second in 3:34.59. Kumari Taki and Raynold Cheruiyot followed in 3:34.73 and 3:34.77 respectively.
In a show of great form, Mary Moraa won the women’s 400m event a day after winning the 800m event. She did it in a new personal best time of 50.84 which gave her a qualification time for the World Championships.
The men’s 10,000m progressed into an amazing climax towards the end. The first 1000m was not that fast as they crossed the mark in 2:50 with a huge pack. As the race progressed, a leading pack of Zakayo, Kandie, Waithaka Mburu, Daniel Ebenyo, Daniel Matieko, and Rhonex Kipruto would eventually remain with about 1000m to go.
Despite appearing to be losing some ground on the leaders with about 500m to go, Kandie then produced a devastating kick in the last lap as he rapidly overtake four runners who were ahead of him to the wild cheers of fans in the stadium. Kibiwot Kandie proceeded to win the race, Waithaka took second while Mateiko finished third.
One of the most anticipated races of the evening was the men’s 800m, and perhaps the most competitive event at the trials. Noah Kibet, the world indoor silver medalist led the race just after the first 200m but was overtaken in the last 150m. Wycliffe Kinyamal and Emmanuel Wanyonyi came strongly from behind to secure the first two positions in 1:43.55 (second-fastest time in the world this year) and 1:44.01 respectively, as Kibet faded to eighth place.
Having already secured a ticket to the world championships in the 400m event, Emmanuel Korir did not participate again in the 800m but was eventually included in the team to do a double in Oregon.
Ferdinand Omanyala’s performance was the last action on the track that pulled the curtains on the two-day meeting as he produced another great run to win the men’s 100m in 10.03 ahead of Samuel Imeta in 10.25 and Boniface Mweresa in 10.46.