(19 June 2004) - Nairobi, Kenya – With the exception of the men’s
10,000m there were no upsets recorded on the final day of the Kenyan national
championships at the Moi International Sports Centre in the outskirts of the
capital, today. Also, most Athens Olympics qualifying standards once again
proved unreachable despite ideal weather conditions.
Kamathi - more to come at the Olympic trials
2001 World 10,000 metres champion Charles Kamathi won the 5000 metres finals
with a combined display of guts and patience. In the absence of many top
runners who are preparing for next weekend’s Olympics trials, a good time
or Athens Olympics qualifying time was not part of the agenda, and although
running in one tight pack, nobody took the initiative.
Kamathi who finished second in the semi-final remained with the leading
pack, always within striking distance but not very visible until the final lap
when he moved to the front and started his attack from 200m out. He went on to
win in 13:45.7 which was markedly slower than Augustine Choges 13:29.0 clocked
to win the national junior title on Wednesday (16 June).
Julius Kiptoo finished second in 13:46.8 with Kiprono Menjo coming in third
in 13:48.7, as Benjamin Maiyo faded to fifth.
Commenting on the slow pace, Kamathi said everybody was remaining uptight
until the Athens Olympics trials and the nationals were simply a prelude to the
real drama which lay ahead next weekend.