NAIROBI (June 13) – Kenyans heaved a collective sigh of relief when multi-talented Mary Moraa returned to action as the Kenyan trials for the IAAF World Under 18 Championships started off at the Nyayo National Stadium on Tuesday.
Moraa, who was injured during the National Secondary Schools Term 2 A Games in Mombasa last week, had expressed doubt on her recovery in time for the trials, igniting panic baton among the hosts for the world event due on July 12-16 given her pedigree.
The 17-year-old student at Mogonga Mixed School in Kisii, a triple champion in regional secondary schools championships, easily won the girls’ 200m first heat and 400m first heat. In the first race, Moraa led Nyanza South sprinters to top three positions, timing 25.69 secs ahead of Beatrice Anyango (25.98) and Irene Akinyi (26.69).
Gloria Mulee from Southern followed Moraa in the 400m with Edinah Tuitoek from Central Rift in third place. Moraa clocked 55.73 secs with Mulee coming home in 56.64 and Tuitoek in 58.56.
Mulee had earlier won the long jump in 5.47 metres with Janet Chemutai of North Rift second in 4.97 m and Mary Wangeci of Central third in 4.73m.
Another potential medallist during the global event next month, Peninah Akoth of Nyanza South, won the girls shot putt in 11.61, beating Sharon Mukite from North Rift to second position (11.30) and Elizabeth Odhiambo of Nyanza North in 10.66m.
Joseph Nyakundi of Nyanza North won the boys’ shot putt in 13.0 with Reynold Kipkorir of South Rift coming second in 12.71m.
Brenda Mukwana pipped Virginia Kasyoka on the final jump of the 400m hurdles to win in 61.16 as Kasyoka followed in 62.09 and Caroline Nyakerairio coming home third in 72.42.
Rhonex Kipruto of Kimwogo Secondary School won the boys under-20 race in 29:05.1, with Leonard Kipkemoi of South Rift second in 29:06.0.
The event started with the boys 10km walk which was won by Dominic Samson of Kiendege Secondary in Nyamira, who timed 44:14.9, followed by Joseph Sila of Southern, who clocked 49:25.4 and Elvis Kyalo of Southern, who finished in 49:41.0.
Hemstone Wanyonyi of Chewoyet Secondary in West Pokot followed with victory in the boys’ Under-20 10km walk crossing in 44:38.17. Lawi Kipsang Melly of Central Rift and Sananka Lamayan of South Rift were disqualified for infringing the rules.
Irene Akinyi of Nyanza South then won the girls under 18 400m hurdles heat one in 62.47. Leah Jeruto of North Rift won the second heat in 63.83.
Reports by Isaack Omulo for www.wu18nairobi2017.com