By: DAVID MACHARIA
World Cross Country gold medallists Geoffrey Kamworor on Saturday won the men 10,000m at the national trials and immediately declared that Mo Farah is beatable in Beijing.
Kamworor said that together with, world cross silver winner Bedan Karoki and Moscow World championship 10,000m bronze medallist Paul Tanui, they were capable of also winning in Beijing.
Kamworor led the other two in that order in the 10,000m final at the Kasarani stadium yesterday. He clocked 27:11.89 followed by Karoki on 27:15.33 and Tanui (27:18.45).
The race saw the top six athletes run inside the world championships qualifying time of 27:45.0.
After the race, Kamworor disclosed that the conversation that spectators witnessed between him, Karoki and Tanui was an agreement between them to exchange the lead to keep the pace constant.
With Mercy Cherono opting out of 5,000m for 1,500m, Viola Kibiwott carried the day in 15:42.58. Behind was Irene Chebet Cheptai, 15:42.98 and Janet Khisa was third 15;44.77.
The runners finished outside the world championship qualifying time of 15:20.0 but 11 of the top finishers were inside the All Africa Games qualification time.
The men’s 5,000m event was easily won by veteran Edwin Soi in 13:30.83 after taking the lead with 300m to go. Emmanuel Mutai who had done most of the donkey work in the race was rewarded with a second place finish in 13:33.84. Isaiah Kiplagat was third in 13:41.19. Surprisingly absent was Caleb Ndiku Mwangangi.
The national trials ended with two major upsets where two big names in athletics, David Rudisha and Ezekiel Kemboi were beaten.
Three time 3,000m steeple chase world champion Kemboi was beaten to fourth place in a race won by Diamond League leader Jairus Birech in 8:19.55, However, Kemboi was named in the team through a wildcard.
In the women 3000m steeple chase race Hyvin Kiyeng won in 9:33.42.
Diamond League leader Virginia Nyambura was second in 9:33.69. Third was Roseline Chepngetich in 9:35.75.
The women’s 1,500m race, watched by President Uhuru Kenyatta and first Lady Margaret Kenyatta was an explosive one. National champion Faith Chepngetich withstood a strong onslaught by Mercy Cherono in the last 200m to carry the day.
The battle between the two saw the winner run the fastest ever time on Kenyan soil of 4:01.85. Cherono was second in 4:02.21 and Nancy Chekwemoi third in 4:04.67.
Despite the men 1500m being also very competitive, world champion Asbel Kiprop could still afford a celebratory salute a few metres to the finish line. He clocked 3:34.03 ahead of Silas Kiplagat 3:34.44, Elijah Manangoi 3:34.46. Eight top finishers hit the world championship mark of 3:36.20.