Kipng’etich and Kithome into 400m hurdles semi-finals
Peter Kithome and Alocius Kipngétich yesterday qualified for the semi-finals of the men’s 400m hurdles on Day Two of the World Athletics Under-20 Championships at Kasarani.
Kithome and Kipng’etich made the qualifications even sweeter as they registered new personal bests of 51.31 and 51.41 respectively.
They both vowed to approach the semi-finals on Saturday at 3pm with renewed optimism.
In the women’s race Kenya’s sole representative Agnes Mutindi failed to progress and had no excuses for it afterwards.
“I am not going to lie, that was tough. I take the loss because I was beaten fairly,” said the athlete who placed fifth in the first heat in 1:02.65.
The heat was won by Finland’s Heidi Salminen in a personal best but also the fastest time of 58.12 heading into the final.
Mutindi still has the women’s 100m hurdles where she promises to bounce back.
“I promise to do better. I have everything to fight for again and it is my favourite of the two events,” said Mutindi, one of the two Kenyan athletes set to double in individual events at the championships.
In the men’s race, Kipngétich needed a late surge to finish third in the heat in 51.41.
The athlete who trains under the guidance of 2007 world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei in Nandi County aspires to be like the 2017 world champion, the late Nicholas Bett.
“I was lucky to get out of the heat as I had to do a lot of catching up. My getting off the blocks was slow and costly.
I want to improve on that shortcoming and also my hurdles technique,” said Kipngétich who finished behind Roshwan Clarke from Jamaica who won in a personal best of 50.93 and Matic Ian Gucek from Slovenia in 51.27.
In the second heat, Kithome finished second in 51.31 behind Denis Novoseltsey who clocked 50.54.
He expressed some regret from the race as he plans to do better race management before his next one.
“I was out too early because I was leading before 200m. I guess I subjected myself to too much pressure.
I ran out of gas, something I don’t want to see in the semis,” shared the Form three student at St Valentines High School in Machakos.