All posts by John Vaseyne

Lover of Athletics.

Isaac Birir to defend his title at Melbourne Marathon

Perth-based Kenyan Isaac Birir, will be targeting to defend his title at the 40th edition of the Melbourne Marathon that will he held on Sunday (14) in Melbourne, Australia.

The 38 year-old who was forced to immigrate to Australia by his wife Joycline last November, is set to face a still challenge from Wilson Chebon whom he beat in August during the City to Surf Marathon.

After taking top honors at the last year’s edition in a time of 2:14.08, the Perth based athlete who has applied for permanent stay said, “My wife told me she wanted come to Australia and it was a big fight between me and my wife. “But after today I’m loving her choice. I’ve put an application in for permanent residency and hopefully they can see from today’s result that I have the talent.”

Birir will be targeting to try and lower the course record time of 2:10.47 that was set in 2013 by Dominic Ondoro from Kenya.

Last year Birir passed his compatriot John Langat just outside the stadium to claim his win forcing his fellow country-mate to settle in second eighteen seconds later.

Race organisers have assembled a tough field hoping to register fast times.

Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon attracts 130 million Sponsorship

The standard Chartered Nairobi International Marathon which is in its 16th edition has been boosted with eight corporates that have pledged 130 million worth of sponsorship.

The bank has pumped in 100 million shillings towards the sponsorship of the event which will be held on October 28, 2018 at the Nairobi Railway Club.

While speaking during the free eye camp at Nairobi Uhuru Park to mark the World Sight Day, Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon Local Organising Committee Chairman, Peter Gitau announced that the Bank has achieved its global target of raising USD 100 million towards Seeing is Believing.

“The Bank has reached the goal of raising USD 100 million that was set in 2011, two years ahead of schedule, for the fight against avoidable blindness and visual impairment,” said Gitau.

All money raised through the registration will be channeled towards the seeing is Believing initiate.

Group Head Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing at Standard Chartered Bank, Tracy McDermott with Hellen Nangozi, Head of Corporate Affairs Brand and Marketing Kenya and East Africa during the Free Eye Camp at Uhuru Park. Photo: Courtesy

“We have so far registered more than 10,000 participants and the registration fee is Kes 2,000 till the 15th October and there after the fee will increase to Kshs 2500 for those that will registers late,” Gitau concluded.

The race targets is to register 25,000 participants with a target cash value of Kshs 60 Million.

Sponsors who presented their cheques today included Alpine Coolers who gave Kshs 6.75 million, Tsebo African Experties, Kshs 3.05 Million, Internet Solutions Kshs 1.5 Million, Subaru Kenya Kshs 500,000 and Nairobi County Kshs 8 million.

Other partners and sponsors include Athletics Kenya, AUA (CCTV) Subaru Kenya, Kenafric Diaries and KICC.

The prize money is a whopping 8 million for the five race categories. There are six race categories; the 42km male and female, 21km, 10km, 21km wheel chair, 5km Family Fun Race and the 3km CEO challenge.

Mercy Chepkorir and Jackson Muema qualifies for second round in 3000m race

Kenya’s Mercy Chepkorir and Jackson Muema qualified for the second round in 3000m race for men and women at the 3rd edition of the Youth Olympics Games that is being held in Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Park.

Distance medallists will be decided based on placing’s over two stages, with 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeplechase athletes all entered for the cross country later in the programme.

Uganda’s Sarah Chalangat took control of the race when they reached 1800m mark and she held on as Chepkorir and Ethiopia’s Abersh Belay sparred for second behind, Chelangat remained unflustered, sprinting from the pair with 200m to go to win in a personal best 9:11.63. She was followed by Chepkorir outdueled Belay to cross the line in second place in 9:13.59 with the Ethiopian closing the first three finishes in 9:14.99.

In the men’s event, Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo showed brilliant resilience to hold off Ethiopia’s Berihu Teklehaimanot and Muema for another Ugandan win. The three moved to the front with 600m to go after reeling in Tanzania’s fast-starting Francis Damasi. Chelimo’s lead was marginal as the trio hit the bell, but he gave a powerful kick to cross the line in 8:08.20. Aregawi took second place in 8:09.17 with Kenyan crossing the line in third in 8:09.95.

A good win for both Ugandans, but they count for nothing until Monday’s off-road decider.


Samuel Kalalei banned for four year for doping

The Athletics Integrity Unit has has banned the reigning Athens Marathon champion Samuel Kalalei for four years after testing positive for blood-booster EPO.

Kalalei’s urine sample, which was collected after the Rotterdam Marathon in April, had returned positive for EPO.

The 23-year-old was provisionally suspended by AIU, the independent agency of world athletics ruling body IAAF, on June 4.

The AIU said that all of Kalalei’s results since that event in the Netherlands would now stand disqualified. Kalalei had set a personal best time of two hours 10 minutes and 44 seconds to finish in seventh place.

Kalalei is the third Kenyan athlete to receive a doping ban this year while four further cases are still pending.

They include former Olympic 1500m gold medallist and three-time world champion Asbel Kiprop, who was found to have traces of EPO after a test in November 2017.

In the same month, Rio 2016 Olympic women’s marathon gold medallist Jemima Sumgong received a four-year ban.

In September, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said Kenya had a “serious problem” with doping.

A Wada report said that between 2004 and 2018, more than 138 athletes from the east African nation have tested positive for prohibited substances, 113 of them during competitions.

Gideon Kipsang defends his title at Bangor 10k

Kenya’s Gideon Kipsang took top honors at the 4th edition of the Bangalor 10K that was held on Saturday (29) in Castle Park, Bangor, Northern Ireland.

Kipsang who was defending his title had to fight with marathon maestro and Olympian Kevin Seaward who pushed him to tape but the Kenyan managed to hold him to finish in a neck and neck photo finish.

The 29 year-old put up a sprint finish to cut the tape in 30:21 with Seaward coming in second with the same time.

Declan Reed closed the first three podium finishes in in 30.57.

In the women’s race, Jessica Craig was first across the line in a time of 36.44 and was followed by Gladys Ganiel who crossed the line 37.13. Laura Bickerstaff came in third in 38.03.

ADAK Releases more names of Doping Athletes

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has released more names of athletes suspended for using performance enhancing banned substances as the doping menace monster rears its ugly head.

The ADAK CEO Jasper Rugut, said, that the naming and shaming of the dopers will continue in earnest once the athlete has been found culpable of being involved in  the vice.

The list that was released by ADAK includes Sally Chelagat Kipyego who was found with presence of 19-norandrone in an in competition test in March 29, 2017 at the Taihu International Marathon, in China and was given a ban for four year.

Another top notch athlete that the doping hammer has hit is Edwin Kipyego who in July 2012 depleted the British 10k course record that had been set by the Ethiopian legend Haile Gebreslassie.

Kipyego was found to have used prohibited substance Erythropoietin (EPO) and was given the full sentence of four years starting from July 2017 to July 2012.

Benjamin Ngadu tested positive for the prohibited substance19- norandrosterone (anabolic steroid) on 6 June 2015 at an IAAF-sanctioned Half-Marathon in Czech Republic. The athlete was subsequently charged and was given a four year ban.

Others are,Sarah Kibet , who was found with prohibited substance predinisone and Prednisolone and was banned for two years, Lazarus Too, presence of prohibited substance Furosemide also got two years.

Nelly Jepkurui Kibet, Presence of a prohibited substance Prednisolone listed as a prohibited substance under S9 of the 2016 WADA prohibited list one year eight months

“We are in the process of releasing further  fourteen names tonight and we will continue with this till vice stops, said Rugut.


Asbel Kiprop should expect just judgment, says AIU Boss

Three times world 1500m champion, Asbel Kiprop’s doping case is expected to conclude with a fair judgment as his case has been referred to the DT. The head of the Athletics Integrity Unit spoke exclusively to Athletics News on various issues touching on doping in the country and globally.

Brett Clothier the head of Athletics Integrity Unit said that although there was no evidence of institutionalized doping in the country, it was still case for serious concern. He also mentioned on Kiprop that although the case is still under review by judges handling the case, AIU was determined to give him a fair hearing and conclusive judgment.

This comes in the wake of Kiprop insisting that the process to take samples from him was marred by irregularities starting with the anti-doping agents calling him prior to testing him which goes against their own internal regulations.

Secondly accusations of extortion from one of the officials have further tainted the whole process since it attacks the integrity of AIU as it goes about its global policing effort of curbing doping amongst athletes.

In May the AIU rejected claims his sample was tampered with and that testers had asked him for money.

‘I could trust them’ – what happened?

Kiprop was tested on 27 November 2017 in Iten, Kenya, having been told the previous night that doping control officers would be visiting.

Although that is against protocol, Kiprop said he did not take it as “something serious” because it had happened before.

The AIU said Kiprop’s sample was not tampered with but said it is “extremely disappointing” he was given advance notice of the test.

In response to Brett, Asbel said, “If at all I earn justice. I’m going to make the best out of my career. I have always not taken things so serious neither bring myself together to realize my full potential. But here I have learned that everything we do we gotta take every step as it counts because in every profession anything can happen anytime. If I earn justice. I will bring all my act together in order to realize my full potential. It will take me over another season to train and get a stable foundation but I believe I will be there. All I pray is to earn justice”.

Kiprop’s failed test dealt another damaging blow to Kenya’s reputation as a middle and long-distance running superpower. Dozens of Kenyans have tested positive for an array of doping substances in recent years. They’ve included big names, among them Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, Rita Jeptoo, Matthew Kisorio,Agatha Jeruto and Lucy Kabuu.

Sumgong and Jeptoo tested positive for EPO and were banned for four years. Kisorio and Jeruto tested positive for traces of steroids and were banned for two and four years, respectively.


Kiplagat, Kiptoo ,Samoei and Koskei added to updated banned athletes list

Athletics Integrity Unit has updated its list of athletes it has suspended for various periods for using banned substances. The list has athletes in various races that include;

Nicholas Kiplagat (22.10.1992) KEN ICT, ‘Kenya Prisons National Athletics Championships’, Nairobi, KEN 13.05.17 2 years ineligibility 25.07.17 – 24.07.19 since 13.05.17

Ferdinand Omanyala Omurva (02.01.1996) KEN ICT, ‘Nairobi Kenyan Championships’ Nairobi, KEN 09.06.17 14 months ineligibility 17.09.17 – 13.11.18 since 09.06.17

Peter Kiptoo Kiplagat (10.10.1984) KEN ICT, ‘Casablanca Marathon’, Casablanca, MAR 29.10.17 4 years ineligibility 09.03.18 – 08.03.22 since 29.10.17

Micah Kiplagat Samoei (12.08.1980) KEN ICT, ‘Marcialonga Running Coop’, Cavalese, ITA 04.09.16 2 years ineligibility 12.04.17 – 11.04.19 since 04.09.16

Michael Koskei Rotich – IAAF Rule 32.2 (e) & (i) Tampering & complicity – 4 years ineligibility 12.11.16 – 11.11.20

Anti-Doping of Kenya (ADAK) CEO Jasper Rugut said today that more athletes will be added on this list anytime from now.

Eliud Kipchoge to Drive off a new ISUZU Dmax after breaking the World Record

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge will drive off a new Isuzu Dmax double-cab pick-up worth Kshs 20 million after breaking the world record at Berlin Marathon.

Isuzu East Africa, are the Truck and bus manufacturer, will fulfill their pledge tomorrow (Thursday) when they will officially hand over the Isuzu Dmax car that they promised their Brand ambassador when they renewed their partnership for another two years.

This year, Isuzu extended its partnership with the Olympic champ and promised him a car, should he break the record that had been set by Dennis Kimetto of 2:02.57 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

The partnership will also see Kipchoge receive a new Isuzu Dmax luxury double-cab for his training and personal use, as well as full servicing of the vehicle during the period of the partnership.

The hand over event will be held at Eldoret Sports Club in Eldoret from 12:30- 2:00pm.


Nancy Kiprop and Mare Dibaba target Franfurt Marathon course record

Kenya’s Nancy Kiprop and former Xiamen Marathon winner Mare Dibaba ftom Ethiopia will face off at the 37th edition of the Frankfurt Marathon that will be held on October, 28 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Kiprop who is the Vienna Marathon champion and Dibaba have been selected to try and lower the race course record of 2:21.01 that was set in 2012 by Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu.

That means that Kiprop must improve her own best time past the current mark of 2:24.18, which she set in April as she retained her title she won last year in Austria’s capital.

“It gonna be hard work to shake off four minutes. But look at what Eliud Kipchoge did in Berlin, I believe anything can go and I want to see how fast I can run in Frankfurt against some of the strongest challengers. The first priority is to master the pace and win the race, and then the time will fall in,” said Kiprop.

Dibaba on the other hand comes to this race with a personal best of 2:19.52 that she got at the 2012 Dubai Marathon. The 28 year-old Ethiopian is also the 2015 World Marathon Champion.

Last year Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot won her maiden marathon race in 2 hours 23 minutes and 35 seconds, she has also not confirmed if she will be defending her title.

“We are looking forward to a thrilling women’s race with world-class runners,” said race director Jo Schindler. “We are pleased when athletes of this caliber choose Frankfurt for their autumn marathon. It is always our aim to present world-class athletes and at the same time to offer perfect conditions for every single runner.”