Tag Archives: Commonwealth Games


Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew, representing Asia-Pacific, and US runner Paul Chelimo, representing the Americas, look the two likely leaders here.

Both men chased home Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha in the hottest 3000m race of the season so far at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat, with Balew finishing second in 7:34.26 – the second fastest time run this year – and Chelimo fourth, both in the race and the list, with 7:34.83.

Chelimo may not be the fastest on paper, but he is the tried and tested man for the big occasion, having won 5000m silver behind Mo Farah at the 2016 Olympics and bronze at last year’s IAAF World Championships in London.

Chelimo finished sixth in the superfast 5000m at last Friday’s IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels in 12:57.55, two places ahead of Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla, representing Africa here, who clocked 12:59.58.

Chances are there also for Balew’s teammate, Stewart McSweyn of Australia. It’s been a long season for him, but he was also in the Rabat race and finished between Balew and Chelimo in 7:34.79.

Chelimo’s teammate Mohammed Ahmed of Canada ran a 7:52.06 3000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon and finished ninth in Brussels in 13:03.08.

At 16, Kenya’s Edward Zakayo has already amassed a formidable record on the track, having won 5000m bronze at this year’s Commonwealth Games and gold at the African Championships in Asaba and the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere.

For Europe, Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen was European 1500m champion in 2012 and took European 5000m silver in Berlin last month behind his 17-year-old brother Jakob.

Koech to Captain Kenya in Africa Championships

Aaron Koech a twin brother to the 2015 World 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett will captain Team Kenya for the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.

Koech who won a bronze medal in the men’s 400m hurdles before anchoring Kenya to winning silver in the 4x400m relay will lead the 61 Kenyan members’ squad’s  onslaught in the west African nation during the 21st Senior African Athletics Championships to be staged at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State.

He will be deputized by six times Africa champion and Commonwealth Games walk race medalist Grace Wanjiru who is a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officer.

After a poor outing at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Kenya are looking to make a big statement in Asaba with their ‘A’ athletes as the country seeks redemption.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said they will take the Asaba 2018 event seriously since the top two runners from each discipline will qualify for the IAAF Continental Cup scheduled to hold in Ostrava, the Czech Republic on September 8th and 9th.

“The Intercontinental Cup is a big competition and we want most of our athletes to qualify. That is why we selected the strongest team selected on merit to travel to Nigeria”, Tuwei said.

Kenya finished second overall in the last edition of the championships two years ago in Durban, South Africa, securing eight gold, eight Silver and eight bronze medals.

Hosts South Africa reigned supreme with 33 medals, which included 16 gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals while Nigeria was third with 16 medals inclusive of four gold, five silver and seven bronze medals.


Nigeria ready to host Africa senior championships

Delta State in Nigeria is ready to host the 21st African Senior Championships, organisers have reported.

Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) technical director, Vivian Gungaram, expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness of the country host the event.

Over 60 Kenyan athletes are expected to take part in the Championships to be staged in Asaba, from August 1 to 5.
Kenya was ranked second overall on the medal chart in the last edition of the championships two years ago in Durban, South Africa.
The country bagged eight gold, eight silver and eight bronze medals. Host South Africa reigned supreme with 33 medals, while Nigeria were third with 16 medals.

After inspecting the Stephen Keshi stadium where the competitions will be staged, Gungaram said the facilities meet the IAAF standards to host the championships.
“This is my second visit for inspection and a lot of work has been done and things are moving fast. I am sure it will be ready by this week,” she said.
After a not too encouraging outing at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Kenyans are looking to make a big statement in Asaba with their top athletes.
Last month, Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said the federation will take the Asaba 2018 event seriously since the top two runners from each discipline will qualify for the IAAF Continental Cup scheduled for Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8-9.

Manangoi, Cheruiyot Renew Rivalry in Monaco

Kenyan training partners World 1500m champion Elijah Manangoi and IAAF Diamond League champion Timothy Cheruiyot will take their 1500 metres battle to the Hercules Diamond League race in Monaco on Friday, July 20th.

The two teammates at Rongai Athletics Club, will renew their rivalry  at the IAAF Diamond League meeting, the tenth stop in the 14-tier series, saying say they will take no prisoners.

Cheruiyot who was recently promoted at the Kenya Prisons Service for his IAAF Diamond League success last season, his only loss this year was at the Commonwealth Games and he is looking to retain his Diamond League trophy.

In their last outing, Cheruiyot a World 1,500m silver medallist shook off a strong challenge to run away with the mile at the Prefontaine Classic in May by returning 3:49.87 as Manangoi settled for third place  in 3:52.18 behind second placed  Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera in 3:51.26.

“I like running in Eugene! Every time I come here, I improve my time,” said an elated Cheruiyot in post race interview. “My goal for the season is to run under 3:28 in Monaco.”

At  last year’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, the duo set 1,500m personal best times of 3:28.80 for Managoi and Cheruiyot’s 3:29.10 in a 1-2 finish respectively.

“It is a nice rivalry we have with Manangoi. He is strong and helps me bring out my best. Anyone can win the race, but there will be more than just the two of us,” said Cheruiyot.

The Kenyan duo finished first and second respectively at last year’s world championships in London and at the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast with Manangoi emerging victorious on both occasions.

The duo managed to perform a rare feat of a coach to have the gold and silver medalists in the same training group (though Alberto Salazar had it in the 10,000 in 2012) but that was the case in at the 2017 London World championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in the men’s 1500 final , as both Manangoi and Cheruiyot who train under coach Bernard Ouma settled for first and second positions respectively.

“Anyone of us can win the race but its an interestiung rivalry we have with Manangoi. He is strong and helps me bring out my best. ,” said Cheruiyot.


The Commonwealth Games 800m gold medaslist Wycliffe Kinyamal beat Olympic and World champion Conseslus Kipruto and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Elijah Manangoi for the StarTimes/Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Sports Personality of the month of April, 2018.

The 21 year old emerging middle distance runner who stunned the world during 2018 event in Gold Coast, Australia becomes the tenth recipient of the monthly award.

In the vote by a panel of Sports Journalists, Kinyamal shook off stiff competition posed fellow athletes who included Conseslus Kipruto who won the 3000 metres steeplechase gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in a new Games Record.

The two lap runner also fended off opposition from World champion and Commonwealth Games 1500 metres gold medallist Elijah Manangoi.

Other nominees for the April award were boxer Christine Ongare who won a bronze, Kenya’s only medal outside track and field at the 2018 Commonwealth Games  and rally driver Manvir Baryan who became the first non-local to win the Rally of South Africa.

Kinyamal helped Kenya reclaim the 800m Commonwealth Games title after World Record holder David Rudisha was beaten to second place during the 2014 edition in Glasgow, Scotland.

His gold medal was the first for Kenya in the 2018 Commonwealth games.

A gold medalist at the 2016 East African Junior Athletics Championships in Dar Es Salaam Tanzania where he made his first impact in the 800m regionally, Kinyamal  took home a 42-inch digital television set and KSh100, 000 courtesy of StarTimes.

The fast rising athlete is affiliated to Global Sports Communication and is based in Kaptagat Uasin Gishu County.

An excited Kinyamal said he was surprised by the accolade which is his first.

“This surprise is truly an inspiration as I progress with my athletics career. Glasgow was a good outing for Team Kenya and for me winning Kenya’s first gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I hope to deliver more medals for Kenya. Thank you SJAK and StarTimes for this award.” An elated Kinyamal added.

Nyairera out to make amends as she battles Semenya and Niyosaba in Lausanne

Olympic 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera is seeking to bounce back at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting tomorrow after failing to finish in Paris a week ago.

Nyairera has had a mixed season so far at the circuit, finishing sixth at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon, where she posted 1:58.67 in her first outing.
Nyairera hopes to find her form ahead of the Africa Championships slated for Nigeria next month. “The Diamond league races will enable me find the right form ahead of the Africa Championship,” she added.
Nyairera, who bagged silver the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast last April, said the early start to the season has contributed to her struggles on track. “The season started early with the Commonwealth Games but I hope come the Africa even,  I will be in peak condition,” she added. World and Commonwealth Games champion Caster Semenya won the two-lap race in Paris in 1:54.25. Former world champion Eunice Sum will also be in contention in the Swiss city after finishing ninth in 1:59.25 in Paris.
The two Kenyans will face off with Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, who was second in Paris behind Semenya in 1:55.86. Others to look out for include Ajee Wilson of the United States, home favourite Selina Buchel, Lynsey Sharp of the United States and Alemu Habitam of Ethiopia.
Davis Kiplangat leads a formidable strong Kenyan contingent in the 5000 metres alongside Collins Cheboi, Vincent Letting, David Bett, Sylvester Kiprotich and Richard Kimunyan in the 12-lap race.
They face stern test from Ethiopia’s World champion Muktar Edris alongside Yomif Kekelecha and world Under-18 champion Selemon Barega in a competitive field that is expected to produce fireworks.
Winny Chebet will lead Kenya’s hunt in the 1,500 metres alongside Nelly Jepkosgei and Emiliy Cherotich. The trio will be up against Hassan Sifan (Netherlands), Meraf Bahta (Sweden), Laura Muir (Great Britain), Dawit Seyaum, Gudaf Tsegay (Ethiopia), Liden Hall (Australia) and Arafi Rababe (Morocco).

Kipruto sets sight on Shaheen’s record

Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto says he has set his sights on breaking the 14-year-old 3,000-metre steeplechase world record at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on July 20.

The record of 7 minutes 53.63 seconds was set in Brussels in September 2004 by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saeed Shaheen

Kipruto, the Olympic and world champion, who also won the Commonwealth Games title at the Gold Coast, Australia in April, said he was in the best-ever form and ready to attempt the world record.

“This year has been so good for me. It’s every athlete’s dream to stay injury-free and God has been good to me,” Kipruto said in Nairobi on Saturday.

“I have four more weeks to prepare for the World record attempt in Monaco. It will be great to bring the 3,000m steeplechaser record back to Kenya.”

Kipruto returned to the track for the first time since his victory in the Commonwealth Games when he won the national title at the Kenya athletics championships at Kasarani stadium on Saturday, and was included in the squad for the African championships in Asaba, Nigeria, in August.

It will be Kipruto’s first appearance in the continental championships, and the 23-year-old is relishing the opportunity of adding the African title to his rich collection.

“The African title is the only one missing in my cabinet,” he said adding that the championships in Nigeria were also important because the winners there will make the African team for the IAAF Intercontinental championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in September.


Cheptegei out of the season with injury

Joshua Cheptegei’s double gold from the Commonwealth Games in April earned the country pride but the success came at a huge cost.

Having won the 5000m and 10000m which fetched him Shs50m from National Council of Sports, Cheptegei is now set to miss the rest of the track season after picking up an injury in the right knee.
“It is painful,” Cheptegei told Daily Monitor early this week. “I did some light work but now it is very serious,” he explained.
The 21-year-old missed the IAAF Eugene Diamond League in Oregon, USA at the weekend where teenager Jacob Kiplimo came 11th in the men’s 2-mile race at the Hayward Field.
It is the second Diamond League event Cheptegei has missed this season after opting out of Doha on May 4.​
This paper understands that Cheptegei would probably not have been down had nhe ot run the 10000m in Australia. “Yes,” he concurred.

‘Persuaded by UAF’
But after he won the 5000m at the Carrara Stadium, he was supposed to leave Australia after for his own personal training but he was persuaded by Uganda Athletics Federation to complete the long-distance double.
“When I did the 5000m, it (knee) was okay for me. But when I did the 10000m, it got worse.”
The 2017 World 10000m silver medallist is more bothered sitting out ahead of the 2019 Doha World Championships.
“Now I cannot stand or sit for long. I am trying to heal and it’s not easy. I hope I can return later in the season for some road races.” Cheptegei added.
While Cheptegei is out, counterpart Albert Chemutai is back on track tonight for the 3000m steeplechase at the Rome Diamond League.
Sixth with a personal best of 8:18.80 in Doha, Chemutai is out for consistency and will aim to run the water-jump race a little quicker at the Stadio Olimpico. He is in a field of 20 with seven Kenyans, Doha winner Ethiopian Beyo Chala and Olympic bronze medallist Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad.

Cheptegei’s medals

2014 World University X-Country Gold
2014 World Junior 10000m Gold
2015 Africa 10000m Gold
2017 World 10000m Silver
2018 Commonwealth 5000m Gold
2018 Commonwealth 10000m Gold


Aprot targets 10,000m rebound at Africa Athletics Championships

World Cross Country silver medalist Alice Aprot of Kenya wants to atone missing the Commonwealth Games with victory at the Africa Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria in August.

Aprot, who won the 10,000m race during the Africa championships two years ago, but lack of form and poor planning have left her with no victory in major competitions in the last year and early this season.

“Injuries are part of the game to any athlete. I have suffered my share and hope to remain fit as the year progresses and win some medals,” Aprot said on Sunday.

Fatigue and loss of form forced Aprot out of the Kenya team to Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but the 24-year-old is returning to her best and wants to explore every chance in the Diamond League to dominate and hopes her prospect will flow over to the Africa Athletics Championships.

“I took too much than what my body could withstand in the cross country season and I paid the ultimate price in missing out in the Kenya team. Now I have rested and regained momentum. The reconditioning has been great and have had enough time to recover fully. I want to race in selected Diamond League races and will be focused on winning the gold in Africa championships in the 10,000m race,” said Aprot from Eldoret.

The former African 10,000m champion will still have to curve her path through a battery of season runners all eyeing one of the three slots up for grabs in the Kenya team.

Challenges for Aprot will be the athletes that beat her to the ticket to the Commonwealth Games.

Top names Sandrafelis Chebet, Stacy Ndiwa and Beatrice Mutai denied Aprot the ticket to the Club Games, but failed to star in Gold Coast. Now Aprot is keen to show them who is the queen of long distance races.

“I want to define my season with gold from Africa championships,” she said. It is the biggest event this year and hopefully get selected to the IAAF Intercontinental Cup in Ostrava (Czech Republic).”

In March, Aprot failed to win the Africa Cross Country Championships in Algiers, Algeria.

Her problems magnified with a miss to the Commonwealth Games and now, with the continental track and field championships up next, she believes international championships will see her give best performance.


Laura Muir shuts out Semenya debate, happy to race anyone

A fan of roller-coasters, Laura Muir is not the kind of person to worry about life’s ups and downs. Happy to strap herself in and roll with it.

That is why, while other athletes are wondering what recent IAAF rulings regarding testosterone levels will mean for their chances of overcoming the likes of Caster Semenya,
Muir, who was yesterday named as an official ambassador for the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March 2019, declared herself willing to take on whoever lines up against her on the start line.

South African Semenya, who suffers from hyperandrogenism, has dominated middle distance running, but the recent directives from the sport’s governing body means she may have to reduce her natural hormone levels if she wants to compete in the major events.

“I think it’s a very difficult situation. And I don’t know that there’s really a right or wrong answer. All I can do as an athlete is focus on myself,” said Muir. “Whoever is on the start line, I’ll race against. If she’s there, that’s fine, I’m more than happy to race against her. She’s a lovely person. I’ve raced against her quite a lot in the past and that’s all you can do. You have to leave it up to the governing bodies as to what happens. I’m happy to race against her. No problem.”

Muir will celebrate the end of her veterinary studies with a thrill fest at US theme park Six Flags next week aware that, as someone who has tested her own mettle for years, combining academic achievement with an athletics career that has also been on the up, she will now be able to focus all her energies on her track endeavours.

Sitting her final exam on Monday, the 24-year-old, who sat out the Commonwealth Games to complete a work placement and prepare for her finals, chose to forego wild partying to celebrate and instead has been catching up on sleep and looking forward to tackling rides like Batman, Ninja, Full Throttle and Scream as she heads Stateside for some adrenaline-boosting fun before she turns her attentions back to the business of racing, at the Diamond League event in Eugene, Oregon, on 26 May.

The biggest thrill of them all could come from her exam results, which will be posted online while she is embroiled in the business of enjoying herself. “I might be on a roller-coaster when I get my results! I would be like ‘yeah’ or maybe ‘yeah!!’. I think it is Wednesday next week that I get them,” added Muir.

The excitement for everyone else is in seeing how far she can push herself now that she has fewer off-track demands to contend with. “I don’t know how things are going to go now. Obviously I am going to have that extra time but sometimes when you have that extra time you aren’t as productive. But it will help a lot more in terms of preparation for competitions. I won’t have to dash here and there and I can focus on recovering better from sessions.

“It’s exciting. At the same time, I’ve still run a 3.55 [over 1,500m]. Can I run faster than that? I don’t know. But the past few years have been so good, it will be exciting to see what a bit more time will deliver.”

This year offers her and her coach Andy Young time to experiment with different distances, tackling anything from 800m up to 10,000m if Young gets his way. Muir is not quite ready to put in that many laps but with the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m too close on the schedule for the upcoming European Championships in Berlin,
she has already ruled out 
doubling up there.

“I don’t even know what distance I’ll be doing yet. But, coming up, we have a good mix of events; Europeans then a home European Indoors, the World Championships in Doha, next year. There are lots of different environments, different situations, and it’s all good practice building up to the Olympics.”