Trials for global races kick off

Friday, June 24th, 2022 00:00 | By
Daniel Simiyu Ebenyo (right) in the lead of 5000m men’s race during Kip Keino Classic last month. PD/DAVID NDOLO

A titanic men’s 5000m final will be the first action of the day as the two-day World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games trials kick off today at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Once again, the youngsters will have to look back to Benjamin Limo, the 2005 world champion for inspiration.

It was at the 10th World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, Finland, where Limo powered to victory in the 5000m final moments before the closing ceremony - the country’s only gold at the event. Well, it could have been an embarrassing disaster had Limo not risen to the occasion.

At 1.10pm when the race competition starts, the juniors will be battling to make the team in order to grab a chance to fight for silverware during the World Athletics Championships planned for July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States.

Leading the pursuit and favourite to win is Nicholas Kimeli, the world’s leading athlete this year.

The race comes over two weeks after he re-energised his push for a medal at next month’s World Championships in Oregon by winning the Rome Diamond League in style.

Kimeli clocked a personal best, world lead and meet record of 12:46.33, leading a 1-2 Kenyan finish as compatriot Jacob Krop finished second with a personal best of 12:46.79. Ethiopian Yomilf Kejelcha came third in 12:52.10. 

Focus on trials

“Last year, I missed an Olympic medal, coming fourth. So, this year I want to focus on trials and come home with a medal from the World Championships,” the 23-year-old said

“The race had shown me that I am in good shape and it has given me a lot of confidence. I want to fight for medals in Eugene.”

The race was a standout among others on the night as spectators were treated to an intense track rivalry between the two countrymen in which Kimeli eventually outsprinted Krop for the win. He will once again face Krop in the trials.

Also, in contention for a slot in the team is Daniel Simiu, fresh from winning a silver medal in the 5,000m at the just concluded Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Reduit, Mauritius.

The Berlin 10km champion will be hoping to write off the memories of 2019 when he missed a ticket to the World Championships in Doha, Qatar after failing to comply with anti-doping rules alongside his counterpart Michael Kibet.

The road race champion said his priority is the World Championships but will be good to head to Birmingham if he misses the slot.

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